February has seen the 15th edition of the Deloitte Football Money League, with Real Madrid fending of Spanish rivals Barcelona for top spot.
The top 2o richest clubs generated over €4.4 Billion in 2010/11, accounting for over 25% of the total revenue for European football clubs. This represent a 3% increase in revenue from the previous season, suggesting that the top end of European football may be recession proof.
The league only takes into account clubs football based revenue and not donations and investments from outside of footballing operations, for example the investments of the owners of either Manchester City or Chelsea would not be considered. The rankings also fail to consider clubs outgoings in transfers and wages meaning an appearance in the league is not necessarily a sign of a clubs bank balances being in good order.
All of the clubs in top 20 ply their trade in Europe’s big 5 leagues; England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.
England is the country with the most representation in the league with 6 clubs in the top 20, with Manchester United the highest place side in 3rd. Tottenham demonstrate the importance of achieving Champions League football, as their appearance in last season’s competition saw a revenue increase of £44 million (The 2nd highest in the league).
The impact of Champions league success is further highlighted by the surprising appearance of Schalke in the top 10 following their run to the latter stage of Europe’s premier club cup. While Valencia return to the money list for the first time in 3 years for the same reason.
Spain’s one and two pairing are comfortably the 2 sides in Europe with the highest footballing related income, with €113 million separating Real Madrid from 3rd place Manchester United. The two sides enjoy similar match day revenues but the big discrepancies lie in incomes from broadcasting and commercial sources.
One potential reasoning is the global appeal of El Classico as an individual contest meaning increased income can be derived for both of Europe’s two richest clubs from this fixture. If Real Madrid were to hold on to top spot next season they would equal Manchester United’s record of finshing first in this league for 8 consecutive years.
Due to the continuing worldwide interest in the Catalan derby and Manchester United’s early exit from the money spinning Champions League , Real Madrid look likely to be laughing all the way to the bank once again next season.
Deloitte Football Money League 2012:
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