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Ronaldo named most valuable athlete on Twitter, Wolves’ £21m profit and Everton stadium news

This week saw news regarding the Portuguese star’s social media status and major developments for two ambitious Premier League sides

Goal rounds up the top business stories of the week from Soccerex, including Cristiano Ronaldo’s Twitter value, Wolves reaping the benefits from their Premier League return and Everton move forward with their stadium plans…

Ronaldo named most valuable athlete on Twitter

Cristiano Ronaldo’s posts on Twitter are more valuable than those of any other athlete endorser, according to a report from athlete marketing platform Opendorse.

A tweet from the Juventus forward, who has 82.7 million followers on the social media platform, carries a value of $868,606 (£516,000), putting the Juventus forward comfortably ahead of Andres Iniesta, whose posts are valued at $590,825 (£456,000). and Neymar, whose were valued at $478,138 (368,000).

Ronaldo was already marked as sport’s top earner on Instagram last July, earning as much as $975,000 (£754,000) per post, according to analytics firm HopperHQ.

Breaking football’s monopoly on Twitter is NBA icon LeBron James in fourth with a value of $470,356 (£363,000) per post, also making him the highest placed U.S. athlete.

Wolves’ Premier League return secures £21m profit

Wolves have announced a £21m ($29m) profit for the 2018-19 season, their first campaign back in the Premier League for six years.

The figures up to May 31, 2019 mark a major turnaround for Wolves, who recorded a £55m ($72m) loss for the year ending 2017-18 as the club were promoted back to the Premier League.

Turnover increased significantly from £26m ($34.28m) to £172m, ($224m). Central payments to the club from the Premier League were £114m ($149m), up from £7m ($9m), highlighting the chasm between the top division and the Championship.

Wolves also benefited from season ticket holders increasing to the maximum 22,500, up from 21,233 the previous season, as well as average league attendance rising from 31,030 compared to 28,298 in 2017-18. 

Major investment in the playing squad also saw wages jump from £51m ($66m) to £92m ($120m). The outlay helped Wolves secure a seventh-place finish and qualification for the Europa League in their first season back in the Premier League

The accounts also revealed Wolves owe Fosun International, their China-based parent company, £131m ($170m), though they have been assured their owners are not immediately seeking repayment.

Everton appoint Laing O’Rourke for new stadium build.

Everton have named Laing O’Rourke as their preferred contractor to build their new £500m ($646m) stadium.

The club said a pre-construction services agreement (PCSA) for a design and build contract is due to be signed after a competitive procurement process. The pair will now collaborate to develop a detailed design and delivery programme for the venue. 

Everton submitted a planning application to Liverpool City Council in December, with a decision expected on the plans this summer. Work on the stadium is expected to commence later in 2020, with construction expected to take three years to complete.

The stadium will seat 52,000 spectators, 12,428 more than Goodison Park. The plans also include the potential to expand the ground to 62,000 in the future.

The new venue at Bramley-Moore Dock will form part of developer Peel’s Liverpool Waters scheme.

Everton chief executive, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, said: “Appointing Laing O’Rourke is another important step towards delivering a new world-class waterfront stadium for Everton.

“There is still a lot of work to do on this project. Working alongside colleagues at Laing O’Rourke we will develop our construction programme, while at the same time continuing to engage with our supporters on a number of matters as we await our planning application to be determined by Liverpool City Council.”

Everton plan to submit a separate application to transform Goodison Park into 48 houses and 160 apartments. Offices, shops, healthcare and education facilities are also set to be included in the redevelopment.

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