This paper analyzes how European football clubs' current value and debt levels influence their performance. The Simar and Wilson (J Econometrics, 136: 31–64, 2007) procedure is used to bootstrap the data envelopment analysis scores in order to establish the effect of football clubs' current value and debt levels on their obtained efficiency scores. The results reveal that football clubs' current value levels have a negative influence on their performances, indicating that football clubs' high value does not ensure higher performance. At the same time, the empirical evidence suggests that football clubs' debt levels do not influence their efficiency levels. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.