Just two years ago they were the world’s richest team, their unrivalled commercial operation allowing them to capitalise on a brand built up during two decades dominating English football.
Now, however, Manchester United are increasingly being left behind by Spain’s big two clubs and in danger of being eclipsed financially by Premier League rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.
United brought in revenue of £627.1m (€711.5m) last year, a long way off Barcelona’s €840.8m (741.1m) and the €757.3m (£667.5m) of Real Madrid.
But while Barca are projecting income to grow further this season, United have forecast a drop to £560m-580m owing to their absence from the Champions League.
“This could put the club at risk of losing its position as the Premier League’s highest revenue generating club,” Deloitte says in its latest Football Money League report, published today.
Back-to-back Premier League winners City and European champions Liverpool, meanwhile, continue to reap the rewards of on-field success.
“That is one to look out for next season,” Deloitte’s Izzy Wray told City A.M.
“But there is still a significant difference in total revenues between Manchester City and Liverpool and United, so it may not necessarily be next season that we see those clubs overtake them.”