European champions, Real Madrid, have emerged as the world’s wealthiest football club, replacing Manchester United at the summit. 

Having generated an all-time record £665m (€751m) income last season, Real Madrid sit pretty at the top of Deloitte’s Football Money League – their 12th time in 22 years – with Barcelona clinching the second spot after making a whopping £612m, the last term.

Manchester United, who had the chance to top the ranking for a third consecutive year, slipped down to third after their income stagnated to £590m – indicating a comparatively low two percent year-on-year increase.

Bundesliga holders, Bayern Munich, retained their fourth place for a second year, generating a handsome £557m. Manchester United’s crosstown rivals, Manchester City, made a total of £504m – an 11% increase over their last year figures – to stay at fifth.

Ligue 1 juggernauts, Paris Saint-Germain posted a combined total of £480m, which earned them a one-position bump, putting them into the sixth spot. Liverpool registered the biggest income-increase amongst the top-10 clubs, with a 25% profit increase bumping their total to £455m, landing them in seventh.

Chelsea maintained their 8th spot with £448m, while Arsenal (£389m) slipped three places into ninth spot. Arsenal’s rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, generated £379m to round off the top-10.

Everton (17th – £189m), West Ham (20th – £175m) and Newcastle (19th – £179m) were the other three Premier League sides to rank within the top-20.  Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United registered a whopping 108 percent increase in revenue – the most by a club this year.

Other clubs to make the annual index include Juventus (11th – £350m), Borussia Dortmund (12th – £281m), Atletico Madrid (13th – £270m), Inter Milan ( 14th – £249m), Roma (15th – £222m), Schalke (16th – £216m) and AC Milan (18th – £184m).

Dan Jones, the head of Sports business group at Deloitte offered a more in-depth dissection. According to him, Real Madrid’s third consecutive Champions League helped them a great deal in knocking Manchester United off their porch.

“Real Madrid’s outstanding financial performance in 2017/18 is built on their long history of success on the pitch, most recently three consecutive Champions League titles,” he said, as quoted by Sky Sports.

“This has enabled the club to continue to drive commercial revenue as the appetite to partner with Europe’s most successful clubs remains stronger than ever.”

Deloitte’s Sam Boor agreed.

“They’re really leveraging on-pitch success,” he told City A.M.

“It’s that virtuous cycle that clubs aspire to on-pitch success into improved commercial performance. Continued success in Uefa competitions will be essential to maintaining three-quarters of a billion euros revenue.”

Boor believes Manchester United will need to do better on the pitch if they are to climb up the rankings.

“Improved on-pitch performance will help that virtuous link to financial performance because as we’ve seen with Real, their commercial growth in the last few years has been quite staggering and it’s no coincidence that they’ve been the most successful team in Europe,” added Boor.

Boor is excited to see whether marquee players such as Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Cristiano Ronaldo will continue to impact the revenue streams.

He added: “It will be really interesting to see if the Neymar move to PSG is a one-off or the first example of it happening under perfect conditions.”

“Will Ronaldo also trigger further revenue growth for Juve? TBC.”


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