90.2 million euros, that is the amount that is spoken about. Between 2012 and 2015, that was the amount that Southampton received and no other side even approached the English club's receipts. The study was conducted by the Football Observer/ CIES and included only footballers developed by the club. The study included clubs in top leagues across Europe: France, Spain, England, Germany and Italy. The order reflects the degree of profitability of those leagues.

Far behind Southampton are the European football giants. Real Madrid are sixth in the standings (43 million), their rivals Barcelona are in seventh (38.8), Bayern Munich place 12th (31.1) followed by Manchester United (28.7).

The outstanding Southampton leadership is explained by only three names. Luke Shaw (now at Manchester United), Calum Chambers (transferred to Arsenal) and Adam Lallana (bought by Liverpool) made Southampton the most profitable club. In the top five of the study are four more clubs known for their ability to train young athletes and transfer them: the French club Lille, the Spanish sides Real Sociedad and Sevilla, and the Germans Borussia Dortmund.

For a player to be considered as a youth academy product, FIFA requires that he played at least three years at the club, between 15 and 21 years old.

These are the most profitable leagues:

1. Ligue 1 (France), 292 million

2. La Liga (Spain), 276 million


Premier League (England) 227 million

4. Bundesliga (Germany) 163 million

5. Serie A (Italy), 114 million.

And the following top the list of most profitable clubs:

1. Southampton: Chambers, Lallana and Shaw (90.2 million)

2. Lille: Gianni Bruno, Debuchy, Digne, Hazard, Debuchy and Origi (76)

3. Real Sociedad: Griezmann and Illarramendi (62.2)


Sevilla: Luis Alberto, Campaña, Luna, Moreno and Navas (51.5)

5. Dortmund: Ginczek, Gotze, Koch, Sobiech and Gunter (43.5)

6. Real Madrid: Callejon, Carvajal, Granero and Morata (43)

7. Barcelona: Thiago Alcantara, Jonathan, Fontàs, Krkic and Sanabria (38.8)

8. Rennes: M'Vila, Bakayoko, Brahimi, Théophile, Kembo and Jebbour (33.6)

9. Montpellier: Cabella, Stambouli, Yanga-Mbiwa and Belhanda (33.5)

10. St. Etienne: Ghoulam, Guilavogui, Nery and Zouma (32.8).