Richest clubs: Barcelona knock Real off as top money-makers

The richest clubs in the world have been ranked and Spanish giants Barcelona have usurped Real Madrid as the richest football club in the world according to Deloitte’s Football Money League published recently.

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The Blaugrana top the Money League for the first time and become the first club to break the €800 million revenue barrier. Published just eight months after the end of the 2018/19 season, the Money League is the most contemporary and reliable independent analysis of the clubs’ relative financial performance.

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The top 20 richest clubs in the world between them enjoyed turnovers of a record €9.3 billion for the 2018/19 season. Real Madrid dropped to second from the previous edition of the report, generating income of €757.3 million, while Premier League giants Manchester United remain third with Arsenal slipping out of the top 10 for the first time.

Rise of the Blaugrana – billion-dollar goal

Barcelona’s rise to the top with an income of €840 million is a clear sign of ‘a club adapting to changing market conditions’ by bringing merchandising and licensing activities in-house, according to Dan Jones, a partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.

With the club expecting further growth of €30 million in commercial revenues and total revenue of almost €880 million in 2019/20, we expect them to retain the top spot next year. Barca are on course to achieve its stated ambition to be the first one billion Money League club in years to come,” said Jones.

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German outfit Bayern Munich remain in fourth position with Paris St Germain entering the top five ahead of Manchester City. Champions League winners Liverpool are seventh, one place ahead of Tottenham Hotspur who they beat in the final. Tottenham’s €521.1 million income pushes them ahead of Chelsea and Arsenal, making them the capital’s highest revenue-generating club for the first time since 1996/97.

Dominant European leagues

Spain’s La Liga has three teams in the overall top 20 with the German Bundesliga also coming in with three. The Serie A has four with Juventus the highest-placed in 10th and Napoli moving into the top 20. Juve’s revenue increased 17 per cent to €459.7 million, helped by the arrival of talismanic Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Apart from France’s PSG, only Olympique Lyonnais of the country’s Ligue 1 makes the list. While Jones says revenue growth in Europe’s big soccer leagues continues to outpace other sectors, there is a marked concentration of increase at the top with the combined revenue of the top five clubs more than the combined total of the clubs ranked 10th to 20th.

What is notable in this edition of the Money League is the apparent continuing emergence of ‘mini-leagues’ within the Money League. The largest revenue-generating clubs continue to pull away from the rest.”

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