Spanish giants Real Madrid have topped the list of the world’s richest football clubs, it has been reported by Deloitte.
Real are followed closely by Spanish rivals Barcelona, while Manchester United are third in the list that has taken into consideration the daily income and outgoings for the 2009/10 season. It has also announced that for the first time the revenue of the top 20 clubs in the world, all of which are European, has reached £3.8 billion (4 billion Euros) for the first time in history.
The top ten in the league table remain the same for a second successive year, as Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool find themselves 5th, 6th, and 8th respectively, while last season’s Champions League finalists Bayern Munich and Inter Milan are 4th and 9th. The top ten is finished off by two further Italian clubs, with Inter’s rivals AC Milan in 7th, and Juventus in 10th spot.
Manchester City are the biggest movers in the top 20, as they have risen from 20th to 11th following further investment. Although the money spent on players, wages, and tax are not taken into consideration, the financial backing of club owners is still important, as one of the key aspects to City’s rise could well be there large increase in match day attendances and shirt sales.
The other two British clubs in the top 20 are Tottenham Hotspur who are in 12th and Aston Villa who drop to 20th. Both clubs have seen a rise in their standing both on and off the pitch in recent years, with Spurs qualifying for this season’s Champions League at the expense of Liverpool while Villa, although currently in 14th place in the Premier League this season they still qualified for the Europa League this season and purchased Darren Bent from Sunderland for £18 million, which could rise to £24 million based on performances.
City’s upward move will be come as good news to the owners and fans alike as it signals the club are less reliant on their owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in matters away from the transfer market. However, unlike a number of other clubs, the club do not have any debts surrounding the building of the City of Manchester Stadium which was built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Equally surprising is the position of the Catalan club of Barcelona. Until this season the club had shrugged away suggestions of a shirt sponsor and instead wore the UNICEF emblem on their shirts and donated money to the foundation instead of taking a fee. This has changed this season however, with their famous shirt now sponsored by the Qatar Foundation.
With UEFA’s Financial Fare Play Rules set to come into play soon it will be interesting to see how the world’s 20 richest clubs develop their financial dealings over the next few seasons, and whether this will impact on their position in football’s rich list.