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Belgium’s football clubs contribute €700 million to economy

11:00 05/06/2018

Belgium’s top-tier football clubs contributed €700 million and a little over 3,000 jobs during the 2016-2017 season, according to a new study by the consultancy Deloitte.

The study was commissioned by the Belgian Pro League, the umbrella association of Belgium’s 24 top-tier clubs, and aimed to put a figure on the gross added value of the professional football competition to the local economy.

According to the Deloitte research, Belgium’s professional football competition is also growing almost twice as fast as comparable leagues in other European countries such as Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Austria.

“The impact of professional sports, like any other industry, is broader than what is directly visible,” Sam Sluismans, a partner at Deloitte Industries, said in a press release. “Industries such as hospitality, construction, consumer goods and media, in particular, are close partners of professional football, increasing the socio-economic impact of the sport.”

The study also revealed that out of a total of one million online registered fans at the clubs, 181,000 were women. With 35% of its membership women, AA Gent has the highest number of female fans, while KV Oostende and KV Kortrijk count the highest number of young fans aged 18 or under.

Photo: Belga / Jasper Jacobs