Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Real Madrid And Barcelona Top Premier League 'Big Four' As Highest Earning Clubs In World Football

• La Liga has two biggest earners – but no other Spanish teams in top 20 • Premier League remains strongest with seven clubs • Champions League is ‘biggest money spinner’ • Emerging giants Manchester City are new entry in top 20 • Tottenham Hotspur biggest ‘over-achievers’ in revenue

Real Madrid and Barcelona have topped a list of the highest earning football clubs in the world

The Spanish giants scored a double victory over their Premier League rivals, pocketing a combined €767 million during the 2008/09 season, according to the annual Deloitte Football Money League.

Real Madrid, whose commercial credentials have since been bolstered further with the signings of global superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka, top the list for the fifth year in a row, becoming the first club in any sport to make €400 million in a year.

And after defeating Manchester United in last year’s Champions League final, Barcelona have also ousted the Red Devils from second place on the index – raking in €366 million in a extraordinarily successful season which saw the Catalans scoop a domestic double too.

But despite having the top two highest earning clubs– the La Liga ‘duopoly’ is underlined by the fact that there are no other Spanish clubs in the top 20 – the next wealthiest in the country is Atletico Madrid in 22nd place.

England has the largest representation of any country with seven clubs out of 20.

The ‘big four’ on the pitch remain the big four off it with Arsenal, Chelsea ad Liverp
ool occupying the 5th to 7th positions respectively, thanks largely to their sustained participation in the Champions League.

The Football Money League is compiled by leading business advisory firm Deloitte and focuses on the revenue earned by each club – not expenditure such as wages and debt management.

Dan Jones, a partner in Deliotte’s Sports Business group told Goal.com UK that Real Madrid’s and Barcelona’s ability to sell broadcasting rights to their matches individually gave them the edge on English opposition.

He said: “Obviously Real Madrid and Barcelona are huge brands and hugely successful clubs but the fact they are able to sell TV rights individually gives them the edge on the Premier League clubs, whose rights are sold as part of a package.

“Real Madrid made €160.8m (£136.9m) from broadcasting last season – whilst Manchester United are quite far behind that earning €117.1m (£99.7m).

Jones said that despite English clubs losing out to their Spanish rivals, the Premier League had experienced a successful season.

He continued: “Yes you cannot ignore the fact that Spain has the top two, but if you go down the list you will see seven Premier League clubs. The ability to earn revenue is more evenly-spread.”

Jones said Tottenham Hotspur was a ‘classic example’ of a club punching above its weight in earnings.

“Tottenham have been in our top 20 every single year without playing in the Champions League. They are Premier League stalwarts, a London club, so are in a good market in that sense. The history of the club remains strong, so if they qualify for the Champions League they could get back into the top ten."

And despite being the wealthiest club in the world, ambitious and big-spending Manchester City are only 19th in the list – but break into the top 20 for the first time.

“Manchester City still have a lot to do to match the revenues of their more illustrious neighbour," added Jones.

"Qualifying for the Champions League can play a big part – and is the biggest money-spinner. The direct impact can generate €50 million-a-year. Also longer term if you repeatedly qualify it helps with sponsorships and kit deals. But you can see the club are putting all the building blocks in place – their supporter base is going up as is their matchday revenue.”

All of the top 20 clubs are from the ‘big five’ European leagues with Germany contributing five clubs, Italy four, and France and Spain represented by two clubs each.

There is little change in the top 20 clubs compared with last year with two new clubs, Werder Bremen and Manchester City, replacing VfB Stuttgart and Turkish club Fenerbahce.

The report also makes dismal reading for fans of Italian football. Juventus, Inter and AC Milan occupy positions eight to ten on the list.

But, as the Deloitte report warns: “There has been a gradual decline in Italian clubs’ positions in the list in recent years emphasising the need to address a number of issues specific to Italian football, particularly with regard to matchday revenues, if they are to remain competitive with the elite clubs in European football.”


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