Manchester United has been named as the highest revenue-generating football club in the world, with a revenue of €676m (£581m).
The 20 highest earning football clubs in the world generated €7.9bn (£6.8bn) of revenue in 2016/17, an increase of 6% on the previous year, according to the 21st edition of the Football Money League from Deloitte, the business advisory firm.
Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League and domestic title winning season saw their revenue grow by €54.5m but only managed second place in the Money League, missing out on top spot by the narrowest ever margin (€1.7m).
Manchester United, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona complete the top three of the Money League and it now takes revenue of almost €200m to be guaranteed a place in the top 20, almost double the amount required in the 2010 edition. Unsurprisingly, broadcast revenue is now the largest individual revenue stream for the Money League clubs, making up 45% of total revenue.
Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, comments: “European football continues to flourish financially, with almost half a billion Euro of revenue growth for the top 20 Money League clubs. And at the top, we’ve seen the closest ever battle for the top spot, with Manchester United pipping Real Madrid to retain their title of the highest revenue generating club in the world. United generated £581m in 2016/17.
“United’s ability to retain first position is all the more impressive against the backdrop of the weakened Pound against the Euro, and with both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona forecasting further revenue growth in 2017/18, the battle at the top will likely come down to on-pitch performance again next year. With all three clubs through to the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League, it may be as simple as the club that goes furthest in the competition will have the best chance of topping the Money League next year.”
The top five is completed by Bayern Munich, in fourth position, with Paris Saint-Germain slipping to seventh, the second consecutive year that they have dropped a place. AC Milan miss out for the first time but city rivals Internazionale move up four places to 15th after significant commercial revenue growth, following a takeover by the Chinese company, Suning.
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