Leading global auditors have released their annual Money League which contains the 20 richest clubs in world football by revenue, and for the first time in the 26 years that Deloitte – the financial advisory and consultancy service provider – have been producing such a list, more than half come from the English Premier League.
Eleven clubs make the cut in a study conducted when looking at the 2021/22 campaign. There were six of them in the top ten, and three in the top four. Manchester City held on to the top position which they occupied the previous season, making a staggering €731m (£619.1m), with their nearest challengers Real Madrid slightly behind on €713.8m (£604.5m).
When combined, the top 20 clubs generated €9.2bn (£7.82bn), representing a 13% increase from the season before, but much of that can be attributed to the return of supporters to stadiums for the first full season following major Covid-19 restrictions.
The renowned analysts also said that the rapidly improving popularity of the women’s game, would bring added value in seasons to come. Significantly, they also proclaimed that were the list to be increased to 30 clubs, then 16 of them would come from the Premier League and ominously for the rest of Europe added that it was a case of not if, but when, all 20 would take their place in the top 30.
Improvement on pre-pandemic numbers
The Premier League certainly seems to to have not only recovered, but actually improved on pre-pandemic levels revenue wise, with attendances up, and commercial interest growing all the time. It is way out ahead of any other European league and is virtually untouchable it seems, as the gap continues to widen.
Six in top ten
Liverpool have made significant strides, moving up from seventh to third and in the process overtaking their bitter rivals Manchester United. Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, and Barcelona, follow, with the final three places in the top ten taken up by the three big London clubs, namely: Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal.
All the English clubs in the top ten, with the exception of the Gunners reported revenue increases in excess of 15%. The remaining English clubs to make the leading 20 are: West Ham, Leicester, Leeds, Everton and Newcastle.
City going from strength to strength
The Manchester City success story is incredible when reflecting that they only entered the top five for the first time back in 2016; so their continued upward trajectory is mightily impressive, and four titles in five seasons will certainly have helped.
Great satisfaction in passing rivals
Liverpool’s leap up the table to a large extent owes much to their charge to the Champions League final, with all the additional revenues that such an achievement brings. One of the teams they overtook was Barcelona, whose finances are in turmoil at present, but it is in passing Manchester United that will give them the most satisfaction.
Women’s game likely to add value
Tim Bridge, lead partner for Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, also feels that the women’s sides at leading clubs will bring “significant added value” in future seasons, as their professionalism increases and their popularity and success continues to grow.
Such is the dominance of the English game, tension is becoming increasingly obvious at rival leagues. Javier Tebas, the chairman of LaLiga in Spain, recently spoke of his frustration at how teams can distort the market, because they are financed by their owners and are allowed to sign players, even when they have losses.
He observed that Spanish football is running years behind the Premier League in terms of structure and stadiums, with him estimating that it could be a further four to six years before they might be able to catch up.
He seems to be basing that belief around the €2 billion deal struck with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, in 2021. Most of the incoming funds are aimed at building new, or significantly refurbishing stadiums. He also wants to push the global appeal of the Spanish league with direct-to-consumer broadcasting, particularly in Asia.
Deloitte’s money league table
The top 20 world’s richest football clubs Money League table as produced by Deloitte is as follows:
- Manchester City €731m / £619.1m
- Real Madrid €713.8m / £604.5m
- Liverpool €701.7m / £594.3m
- Manchester United €688.6m / £583.2m
- Paris Saint-Germain €654.2m / £554m
- Bayern Munich €653.6m / £553.5m
- FC Barcelona €638.2m / £540.5m
- Chelsea €568.3m / £481.3m
- Tottenham Hotspur €523m / £442.8m
- Arsenal €433.5m / £367.1m
- Juventus €400.6m / £339.3m
- Atletico Madrid €393.9m / £333.6m
- Borussia Dortmund €356.9m / £302.2m
- Inter Milan €308.4m / £261.2m
- West Ham United €301.2m / £221.5m
- AC Milan €264.9m / £224.4m
- Leicester City €252.2m / £213.6m
- Leeds United €223.4m / £189.2m
- Everton €213.7m / £181m
- Newcastle United €212.3m / £179.8m
For non-British clubs Deloitte used an average exchange rate for the year ending 30 June 2022 of £0.85 being equal to €1.