Manchester United hold off Real Madrid to remain richest club in the world in Deloitte Football Money League

Manchester United v Everton - Premier League
United held off Real Madrid despite the falling value of the pound (Source: Getty)

Manchester United have retained their billing as the world’s richest club after they pipped European champions Real Madrid to first place in Deloitte’s Football Money League.

United, who benefited from winning the Europa League and lucrative new Premier League broadcast contracts, outstripped Real and Barcelona last season despite the fall in value of the pound.

Manchester City remained fifth but made up ground on Bayern Munich, while Arsenal overtook Paris Saint-Germain to take sixth place. Chelsea and Liverpool held onto eighth and ninth place respectively.

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A record 10 English clubs made the top 20 of the annual list, published today. Tottenham, Leicester and West Ham all climbed, while Southampton and Everton were new entries.

How Manchester United pipped Real Madrid

United enjoyed record revenue of £581.2m in 2016-17, a £65.9m increase on the previous year but a slight fall in euro terms to €676.3m due to the change in exchange rates.

Real were only €1.7m behind with income of €674.6m and overtook domestic rivals Barcelona, who earned €648.3m.


Data from Deloitte Football Money League 2018. All figures for the 2016/17 season have been translated at the average exchange rate for the year ending 30 June 2017 (£1 = €1.1637).
1. Manchester United
England
Manchester United retained the mantle of the world’s richest football club after revenue grew from £515.3m to £581.2m, although currency rates meant it was a fall in euro terms. Jose Mourinho’s side finished sixth in the Premier League and won both the EFL Cup and the Europa League, which came with the added reward of a spot in this season’s Champions League. Improved domestic TV contracts saw broadcast revenue jump to €225.9m (£194.1m) while 12 new sponsorships reflected the club’s continued commercial clout.
  • Matchday Revenue: €125.2m (£107.6m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €225.9m (£194.1m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €325.2m (£279.5m)
Total Revenue: €676.3m (£581.2m)
2. Real Madrid
Spain
Real Madrid became the first club to win the Champions League in successive seasons, but it wasn’t enough to wrestle top spot from Manchester United. Revenue grew by €54.5m (£48.1m) but the Spanish giants’ total still came in narrowly behind United at €674.6m (£579.7m). Commercial revenue represented the most important source of income for Real, rising by €38m last year to €301.4m.
  • Matchday Revenue: €136.4m (£117.2m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €236.8m (£203.5m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €301.4m (£259m)
Total Revenue: €674.6m (£579.7m)
3. FC Barcelona
Spain
Barcelona slipped from second to third richest club in the world despite generating record turnover of €648.3m (£557.1m) last season. Deloitte’s figures do not include transfer fees, so the record-breaking €222m fee they received from Paris Saint-Germain for Neymar last summer is not counted; neither is a €55m-per-year (£48.6m) shirt sponsorship deal the club signed with Japanese firm Rakuten, which started this season.
  • Matchday Revenue: €137.2m (£117.9m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €214.9m (£184.7m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €296.2m (£254.5m)
Total Revenue: €648.3m (£557.1m)
4. Bayern Munich
Germany
Bayern Munich failed to reach the final four of the Champions League for the first time in six years — a setback that contributed to the club’s revenue falling by €4.2m (£3.7m) to €587.8m (£505.1m). Yet the German heavyweights, who clinched the Bundesliga title for a fifth successive season, still managed to hold off competition from Manchester City and Arsenal to remain the fourth richest club in the world for now.
  • Matchday Revenue: €97.7m (£83.9m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €146.7m (£126.1m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €343.4m (£295.1m)
Total Revenue: €587.8m (£505.1m)
5. Manchester City
England
Manchester City’s revenue rose just 0.5 per cent to €527.7m (£453.5m) during a trophy-less first season under manager Pep Guardiola. Like all Premier League clubs, City’s broadcast revenues made a significant leap to €236.8m (£203.5m), narrowly beating commercial revenues of €230.5m (£198.1m) as the club’s largest income source.
  • Matchday Revenue: €60.4m (£51.9m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €236.8m (£203.5m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €230.5m (£198.1m)
Total Revenue: €527.7m (£453.5m)
6. Arsenal
England
Arsenal posted record revenues of €487.6m (£419m) and leapfrogged Paris Saint-Germain to sixth spot in the rich list despite mixed fortunes on the field. They won the FA Cup for a third time in four season but missed out on Champions League qualification after finishing outside the domestic top four for the first time in 20 years.
  • Matchday Revenue: €116.4m (£100m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €234.7m (£201.7m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €136.5m (£117.3m)
Total Revenue: €487.6m (£419m)
7. Paris Saint-Germain
France
Paris Saint-Germain flexed their muscle by signing Neymar from Barcelona this summer, but the club dropped a place in the Money League for the second successive year as revenue fell back under the €500m mark to €486.2m (£417.8m). Despite being the only French club amongst the world’s 20 richest, the Qatar-owned team lost out to Monaco in the Ligue 1 title race.
  • Matchday Revenue: €90.2m (£77.5m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €121.9m (£104.8m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €274.1m (£235.5m)
Total Revenue: €486.2m (£417.8m)
8. Chelsea
England
Chelsea bounced back from a turbulent 2015-16 campaign by winning the Premier League, but revenues shrunk by €19.4m (£17.1m) to €428m (£367.8m) due to the club’s absence from the Champions League. Like all English top-flight clubs, they benefited from bumper new central broadcast contracts, while a new deal with drinks maker Carabao drove an increase in commercial income.
  • Matchday Revenue: €76.2m (£65.5m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €189.1m (£162.5m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €162.7m (£139.8m)
Total Revenue: €428m (£367.8m)
9. Liverpool
England
Liverpool revenue rose to a club record €424.2m (£364.5m) as Jurgen Klopp steered the team back into the Champions League with a fourth-placed finish. Broadcast income rose significantly thanks to the Premier League’s new TV deal, but an expanded main stand at Anfield and a number of new partnerships helped both matchday and commercial income climb too.
  • Matchday Revenue: €80.1m (£68.8m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €182.5m (£156.8m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €161.6m (£138.9m)
Total Revenue: €424.2m (£364.5m)
10. Juventus
Italy
Juventus’ revenues rose by 20 per cent to €405.7m (£348.6m) during a season in which the Old Lady reached a second Champions League final in three years, won a record sixth consecutive Serie A title and changed the club badge. They are one of just three Italian teams in the top 20 after AC Milan dropped out and almost €150m richer than any of their domestic rivals.
  • Matchday Revenue: €57.8m (£49.6m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €233.5m (£200.7m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €114.4m (£98.3m)
Total Revenue: €405.7m (£348.6m)
11. Tottenham Hotspur
England
A place in last season’s Champions League helped Tottenham increase revenues by €75.9m to €355.6m (£305.6m) and leapfrog Borussia Dortmund in this year’s Money League. The club’s bank balance will again benefit from playing with Europe’s elite after Mauricio Pochettino guided his side back into the competition by finishing second — the club’s highest ever Premier League finish.
  • Matchday Revenue: €52.7m (£45.3m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €219m (£188.2m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €83.9m (£72.1m)
Total Revenue: €355.6m (£305.6m)
12. Borussia Dortmund
Germany
A return to the Champions League, where Dortmund reached the last eight, helped the German club grow revenues by €48.7m (£43m) to €332.6m (£285.8m). Yet it is the club’s commercial operation that was the biggest contributor to turnover last season. International pre-season tours of Asia and sponsorship deals – Eurowings, Coca-Cola and MAN coaches either signed or renewed partnerships — boosted commercial revenue to €148.2m (£127.4m).
  • Matchday Revenue: €58.6m (£50.4m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €125.8m (£108m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €148.2m (£127.4m)
Total Revenue: €332.6m (£285.8m)
13. Atlético Madrid
Spain
Atlético Madrid’s 13th place in the Money League makes their run to last season’s Champions League semi-finals and third-placed finish in La Liga particularly impressive. Revenue hit a record level of €272.5m (£234.2m), nearly two-thirds of which came from TV income. Collective media rights selling in Spain helped Atleti’s broadcast revenue rise by €21.6m (£19.1m) to €161m (£138.4m).
  • Matchday Revenue: €41m (£35.2m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €161m (£138.4m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €70.5m (£60.6m)
Total Revenue: €272.5m (£234.2m)
14. Leicester City
England
Leicester may have not been able to replicate their title-winning heroics from a year before last season on the pitch, yet a place in the Champions League, increased Premier League TV money and a raised profile attractive to sponsors helped the club to a better year off it. The Foxes rose six places in the Money League thanks to an increase in revenue of £104.3m.
  • Matchday Revenue: €19.2m (£16.5m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €222m (£190.8m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €29.9m (£25.7m)
Total Revenue: €271.1m (£233m)
15. Inter Milan
Italy
Inter Milan endured a difficult season last year, finishing seventh in Serie A and crashing out of the Europa League at the group stage — yet the club still managed to climb four places in the Money League. Suning, the club’s new Chinese owners, helped drive a mammoth 137 per cent increase in commercial revenue to €130.1m (£111.8m). That arm of the club’s business represented half of its total €262.1m (£225.2m) revenue.
  • Matchday Revenue: €28.4m (£24.4m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €103.6m (£89m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €130.1m (£111.8m)
Total Revenue: €262.1m (£225.2m)
16. Schalke 04
Germany
Schalke remain one of Germany’s richest and best supported clubs, despite a 10th placed finish in last season’s Bundesliga. The club’s revenue rose a steady three per cent to €230.2m (£197.8m), but it was not enough to stop them falling two places in the Money League to 16th. This season the club has made improvements on the pitch and is battling for a Champions League qualification spot.
  • Matchday Revenue: €53.3m (£45.8m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €82.3m (£70.7m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €94.6m (£81.3m)
Total Revenue: €230.2m (£197.8m)
17. West Ham United
England
West Ham’s record revenue of €213.3m (£183.3m) was primarily due to the uplift in broadcast income to €138.8m (£119.3m) that came as a result of the Premier League’s £8bn TV deal. Despite a headache-filled first season at the London Stadium, West Ham had the eighth highest average attendance of the world’s 20 richest football clubs and boosted matchday revenue to €33.3m (£28.6m).
  • Matchday Revenue: €33.3m (£28.6m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €138.8m (£119.3m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €41.2m (£35.4m)
Total Revenue: €213.3m (£183.3m)
18. Southampton
England
Thanks to the huge increase in broadcast income from the Premier League TV contracts, Southampton are named as one of the world’s 20 richest football clubs for the first time. Broadcast revenues stood at €166.4m (£143m) — 79 per cent of the club’s total €212.1m (£182.3m). The Saints boosted earnings with a run to the EFL Cup final, participation in the Europa League and a three-year shirt sponsorship deal with Virgin Media.
  • Matchday Revenue: €26.1m (£22.4m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €166.4m (£143m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €19.6m (£16.9m)
Total Revenue: €212.1m (£182.3m)
19. Napoli
Italy
Napoli overtook domestic rivals AC Milan and Roma to make it into the top 20, after finishing third in Serie A and reaching the last 16 of the Champions League. It was their European run that most contributed to a hefty €56.5m upswing in revenue to €200.7m (£172.5m). The visit of Real Madrid to the San Paolo was reported to have generated the third-largest gate receipts in Italian football history.
  • Matchday Revenue: €19.4m (£16.7m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €147m (£126.3m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €34.3m (£29.5m)
Total Revenue: €200.7m (£172.5m)
20. Everton
England
Everton returned to the top 20 following a €36.7m (£32.4m) jump in income to €199.2m (£171.2m) that was almost entirely attributable to improved broadcast earnings from new league-wide contracts, although a training ground sponsorship deal with USM Holdings helped boost commercial income by a third to €30.5m (£26.2m). On the pitch, the Toffees finished seventh in England’s top flight, earning a path back into the Europa League, but suffered early exits in both domestic cup competitions.
  • Matchday Revenue: €16.8m (£14.5m)
  • Broadcasting Revenue: €151.9m (£130.5m)
  • Commercial Revenue: €30.5m (£26.2m)
Total Revenue: €199.2m (£171.2m)

United’s position was due to their success in the Europa League as well as their renowned ability to attract sponsors, said Deloitte’s Tim Bridge.

“It’s extremely impressive and owes much to their on-pitch performance,” Bridge told City A.M.

“Whereas in previous years we’ve talked about them being able to secure commercial deals the like of which other clubs can’t achieve, this year it has come down to the €3m bonus that the winner of the Europa League gets, and that’s what has kept them at the top of the Money League.”

English big six all make top 11

Current Premier League leaders Manchester City saw revenue rise to £453.5m (€527.7m) and closed the gap slightly on German champions Bayern, for whom income fell by €4.2m to €587.8m (£505.1m).

Big-spending Paris Saint-Germain, who failed to defend their French title, also suffered a drop in earnings, allowing Arsenal (€487.6m/£419.0m) to overtake them in sixth place.

World's 20 richest clubs by revenue stream (€)

Chelsea, who won the Premier League but did not play in European competition, and Liverpool retained their top-10 status ahead of Italian champions Juventus.

Tottenham climbed to 11th as they enjoyed additional revenue from playing European games at Wembley. Their new stadium, due to open this year, is expected to strengthen their position further.

New TV deal gives Premier League teams extra muscle

The relative financial strength of all English top-flight clubs was increased last season by the start of new Premier League broadcast contracts worth more than £8bn over three years.

Leicester, who also benefitted from a run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, rose to 14th, overtaking traditional heavyweights such as Inter Milan.

West Ham climbed to 17th, their highest position in the 21 years of the Deloitte ranking, owing to an increase in matchday revenue following their move to the London Stadium.

Southampton and Everton’s entry into the top 20 was largely attributable to improved Premier League television money.

Tech giants could make English clubs even richer

The current tender process for the next round of Premier League broadcast contracts, which could see a major tech player such as Amazon rival Sky and BT, is likely to determine the extent to which English teams continue to enjoy financial supremacy.

“It’s interesting to see what happens because I think everyone accepts that if a new bidder enters the market that will almost certainly drive value up,” Bridge added.

“If it remains that BT and Sky are the sole bidders for the rights then there is a possibility that growth won’t be as significant as it has in the past. Internationally, however, the Premier League remains more popular than ever.

“While growth might not be as significant as in the past, there’s no evidence to suggest that the rights deal won’t continue on an upwards trend.”

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