Real Madrid & Barcelona lead football richlist as Manchester City and Tottenham signal their rise in the top 20

* Real Madrid crowned as world's richest club for sixth year in a row
* Six of top 12 highest earning clubs are in the Premier League
* Manchester City climb most places - from 20th to 11th
* Top six placings remain unchanged

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Real Madrid and Barcelona remain top of football’s ‘rich list’ but the rise of Manchester City and Tottenham has helped to cement the worldwide dominance of the Premier League.


According to the 2011 Deloitte Football Money League, published today, six of the world’s 12 highest earning clubs are based in England.

Bolstered by their individual television contracts, Real and Barca have completed a Spanish one-two at the head of the list - despite the strengthening of the pound against the Euro - as the top six placings remain unchanged from 12 months ago.

Real’s revenues grew to £359.1 million to top the index for a sixth consecutive year despite a relatively modest season on the pitch in the 2009-10 season, while Barca, who beat them to the league title, consolidated their second placed position to record a turnover of £325.9m.

England has the largest representation of any country in the top 20, with seven clubs. Italy and Germany contribute four clubs each, Spain three clubs, and France two clubs. The overwhelming dominance of Real and Barca in Spain is demonstrated by 2010 Europa League winners Atletico Madrid, in 17th, being the only other La Liga club occupying a top 20 berth.

The composition of what was known as the ‘big four’ in England has been skewed by Liverpool’s struggles over the last two seasons but off the pitch they have maintained their hegemony.

Manchester United continue to lead the way for the Premier League clubs in third position, followed by Arsenal (fifth), Chelsea (sixth) and Liverpool (eighth).

Nonetheless, the highest climbers of any of the 20 top earners are Manchester City, who have rocketed up nine places to 11th position even though the Abu Dhabi-owned club did not participate in European competition last season.

City’s earnings increased by 45 per cent, from £87m in 2008-09 to £125.1m, largely as a result of improved shirt sponsorship and kit supply deals following the huge investment in the playing squad. Commercial revenue more than doubled to £46.7m and was the principal driver of the club’s overall revenue growth.

All revenue figures in the Money League report are based on the 2009-10 season or the most recent available calendar year. It focuses on the revenue generated by each club, not expenditure such as wages and debt management.


1. Real Madrid
2. Barcelona
3. Manchester United
4. Bayern Munich
5. Arsenal
6. Chelsea
7. AC Milan
8. Liverpool
9. Inter
10. Juventus
11. Manchester City
12. Tottenham
13. Hamburg
14. Lyon
15. Marseille
16. Schalke 04
17. Atletico Madrid
18. AS Roma
19. VfB Stuttgart
20. Aston Villa
REVENUE 2009-10


Tottenham, who climb three places to 12th in the list, are regarded by business advisory firm Deloitte as a more immediate challenger to the established elite than City after qualifying for this season’s Champions League, where they will face AC Milan in a last-16 tie.

Alan Switzer, a director in Deloitte’s sports business group, told UK that English clubs occupy seven Money League positions because of their ability to capitalise on the three principal revenue streams of broadcasting, matchday and commercial income and predicts their dominance will increase in the forthcoming years.

“The Premier League generates €1 billion a year more than the next highest league and new, bigger central overseas broadcast deals from 2010-11 should allow English clubs to retain the highest representation in the Money League,” Switzer explained.

“The domestic market contract has increased by a relatively small amount but the overseas deal had a substantial increase – an uplift of £200m per season, which is worth around £30m per club over three years.”

Barcelona’s TV contract with Mediapro allowed it to generate £40m more from broadcasting last season than Manchester United and Switzer does not expect the two Spanish giants to be threatened by their Premier League counterparts in terms of turnover.

“It is difficult to see those two being knocked off the top,” he said. “The top Spanish clubs are still allowed to negotiate individual broadcasting contracts and, although there are discussions about a collective TV deal in Spain, that is far from certain and if it does happen you would imagine it will not be as evenly spread as the Premier League contract is.”

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