J League club Financial Statement in 2019

J League club Financial Statement in 2019

J League announced J League club Financial Statement in 2019. This time let’s look into the detail of J League club Financial Statement in 2019 together.

Every year J league has collected all J league club financial statement for its club license and opened it in public. If you see the figures, you can understand J league much deeper.

J League club Financial Statement in 2019

Flash report for 2020 result was announced by J League. But there is still missing clubs, so this time I explain J League club Financial Statement in 2019. Once I get 2020 version, I update it.


First of all, J League regular season is from the 2nd half of February to the 1st half of December. In that meaning, a lot of J clubs takes December or January as their fiscal close month. So 2019 financial report did not include any Corona pandemic damage. This is really good for you to understand true figure of J league.

Here is the Balance and Profit & Loss sheet of all J clubs from 1st division to 3rd division. I translated them into English. You can find the data below.

[Translation]J League club Financial Statement in 2019_J1

[Translation]J League club Financial Statement in 2019_J2

[Translation]J League club Financial Statement in 2019_J3

The original date can be downloaded from the link below.

[J League site]

[Translated PDF]

Operating revenue

Total operating revenue in each category is as following:

  • J1: 89 Bil yen (≒685 M €, 130 yen/€ same as following)
  • J2: 36.4 Bil yen (≒280 M €)
  • J3: 7 Bil yen (≒54 M€)

The size of J1 League is almost same as Russian Premier League or Portugal League. As you may know, FC Barcelona has 990 M € in 2018-19. In that meaning the grand total operating revenue is almost same as FC Barcelona. This is the economic size of J League.

Several remarkable points are that the rate of sponsor sales and broadcasting income. J League club finance is mainly supported by sponsorship. Its rate is 45% in J1 for the total operating revenue. J2 is 56% and J3 is 54%.

On the other hand, broadcasting income is 11% in J1. If we see the sales structure in several main European leagues, we can find the figure is too small compared to them. The total broadcasting right price is 18.6 Bil yen (≒143 M€) per year from 2017 to 2028, total 224 Bil yen (≒1.72 Bil€).

This amount is not as high as European leagues which are ranked in UEFA Country coefficients more than 10th. The reason why is that J League has total 56 professional clubs in J1 to J3. J League has tried to make equality in all J clubs, so the logic for distribution of broadcasting revenue has avoided to make unqualify.

Operating cost

Total operating cost in each category is as following:

  • J1: 90 Bil yen (≒692 M €)
  • J2: 37.4 Bil yen (≒288 M €)
  • J3: 7 Bil yen (≒54 M€)

Final each profits are as following:

  • J1: ▲2 Bil yen (≒▲15 M €)
  • J2: ▲1 Bil yen (≒▲7.7 M €)
  • J3: ▲220 M yen (≒▲1.7 M€)

This year Sagan Tosu made huge loss ▲15M€ in J1 and Kashiwa Reysol made 7.7M€ in J2. The two clubs made almost all loss. But the normal league financial trend is totally even. Cost size is as same as revenue size.

Sagan Tosu lost a main big sponsor this year and it got Fernando Torres with big amount. Kashiwa Raysol relegated in 2018, so they tried to go back to J1 in one year and it succeeded. Its parent company is HITACHI, so they has big financial back bone. It enabled the club can retain the same budget as J1, but it resulted in a huge loss.

A remarkable point is Player wage rate to operating revenue and average wage cost. You can see it as following:

J1 (per club): 2.5 Bil yen (≒▲19 M €) 50.5%
J2 (per club) : 765 M yen (≒▲5.9 M €) 46.2%
J3 (per club) : 169 M yen (≒▲1.3 M€) 36.3%

This figure is not too high if we compare to European leagues. The outstanding player salary is definitely Andres Iniesta playing in Vissel Kobe. His salary could be 3.2 Bil yen (≒25M€). When you want to know more realistic average wage cost, you must exclude his salary figure. In that meaning, J1 average player wage will go down.

Balance Sheet

Thanks to club license regulation, no clubs are in excess liability. The regulation forces clubs never to become in excess liability. As I told in article Ownership regulation in J League, J clubs finance is mainly supported by big sponsors. In that meaning, their deficits has been written off by their sponsors. In that meaning J clubs are not healthy in financial wise.

When you look at “retained earnings”, almost all clubs are minus especially in J2 and J3. J clubs struggled with creating profit since the past. The biggest total asset holder is Kashima Antlers. It has 4 Bil yen (≒31M€).

Clubs whose capital adequacy ratio is over 30% are 10 out of 18 in J1, 10 out of 22 and 7 out of 16 in J3. We can say 48% clubs are safer for health of balance in ratio base.

Wrap up

When you look at the figure, you can understand J League more and compare to other leagues in global. J League market size could be said as following position to big 5 European leagues. J League is seen as certainly rich league from other countries. It results that lots of Brazilian players come to Japan with better financial condition than their country.

I don’t think Japan Football understand their position in the world correctly. If it has looked up and forwarded globally, it could made itself more international league than now.



After-school club activities culture in Japan

What is After-school club activities culture?

This is really unique system. Japanese school from elementary school to university has after-school club activities culture. Students belong to this activity and spend their time with club members. The activity has various kinds. Some are sports and some are cultural. Japanese school included sportive and cultural education and development for young people historically. Teachers should have supervise these activities. It is rare to invite external coach for its activity.

Japanese school has its own grounds and athletic facility. The infrastructure enables enough environment. This is for developing young people’s health and good body. The merit is everyone can participate whatever they wants freely.

But now opposite opinions against the system occurs. This relies on the burden of teachers. Teachers has cooperate with it voluntarily, but it generated over-work of teachers. Currently over-work custom in Japan is changed. After-school club activity is regarded as one of the biggest cause for the problem. Therefore, the system is now on transition term…

Football has been integrated into the system

Football teams has been integrated into the system for long time. As you can see the history of Japanese football, university students started playing football. Then after-school club activities became the center of developing young players. Each generations have national competition in Japan. School started to aim to participate the national competition.

JFA decides all players must belong to one team. Players cannot register in several teams. So if players belong to after-school club activity, they cannot play football in another regional club team. Historically Japan National Team members came from strong schools until 2000. But after J League started, J League forced J clubs to make its own youth teams for all age categories. Then football elites joined J club’s youth teams gradually.

Now almost all good young talents belong to J club youth team. At the same time, lots of regional football clubs are established by former players or coaches. 28 years have passed already since J League began. There are lots of former players or coaches now. They have tried to make their own regional club teams. Consequently, the movement also decrease after-school club activity for football.

On the other hand, the national football competition for high school is still popular contents and attract young generations. J clubs still get young talents from after-school club activity. These different football team structure continues to co-exist in the future.