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Manchester United third in football rich list behind Real Madrid & Barcelona

By Greg Stobart

Manchester United remain the highest earning Premier League club, but their revenues continue to lag behind Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, as revealed by Deloitte's 2013 Football Money League.

According to Deloitte's report, published today, seven of the world’s 12 richest clubs by revenue are based in England as champions Manchester City enter the top 10 for the first time.

United are third on the list despite their revenues declining three per cent to £320.3m in 2011-12 from £331.4m the previous year, largely down to their early exit in the Champions League and failure to win the Premier League title.

European champions Chelsea stay fifth in the league with £261m revenues while City move up five places to seventh thanks to a 51 per cent growth in revenues to £231.1m following their title success, participation in the Champions League and a long-term partnership with Etihad Airways.

However, English clubs are still some way behind Spain’s big two in the Money League, the top six of which remained unchanged for the fifth successive year.

Real Madrid top the money list for the eighth consecutive year with a record turnover of £414.7m while Barcelona complete a La Liga one-two after the Catalan club reported revenues of £390.8m.

The Premier League has consolidated its position as the dominant financial force in world football in the Money League, with seven teams in the top 20 and a further four English clubs were just outside the top 20 for revenues in the 2010-11 season (Everton, Aston Villa, Fulham and Sunderland).

Arsenal (sixth) keep their place in the Money League, while Liverpool’s commercial power keeps them in the top 10 in ninth place, even though the Anfield club has not participated in the Champions League since the 2009-10 season.

1. Real Madrid
2. Barcelona
3. Manchester United
4. Bayern Munich
5. Chelsea
Tottenham drop to 13th in the list after failing to qualify for the Champions League, with revenues decreasing by 12 per cent to £144.2m while Newcastle are the only new entry, replacing Valencia with £93.3m turnover.

“Manchester City’s rise up the table comes down to a combination of their on pitch success and improved commercial deals,” said Mark Roberts, senior consultant within the sports business group at Deloitte.

“Arsenal are well in their sight but the decisive factor next year will be City’s commercial deals as they will be hit by not qualifying for the next stage of the Champions League this season.

“I would expect to see City overtake Arsenal in the next couple of years providing they continue with their success on the pitch.”

In 2012, the Premier League announced new domestic live broadcast rights deals worth just over £3 billion for the three year period from 2013-14, a 70 per cent increase on the previous value with top clubs set to make £20-30m more per year.

Next year, England will expect to break its record representation of eight clubs in the Money League and could even make up half of the top 20.

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Roberts added: “The most there has been in the list is eight but I think we could be seeing as much of half of the list represented by the Premier League in the near future - it remains the financial powerhouse of European football.”

All revenue figures in the Money League report are based on the 2011-12 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.

The ‘big five’ European leagues are all represented in the Money League, with Italian giants Juventus climbing to 10th after winning Serie A last term. German side Borussia Dortmund are the joint-highest climbers after rising five places to 11th.

Commenting on the impact of UEFA’s financial fair play break-event requirement, Paul Rawnsley, a Director in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte said: “Whilst the Money League covers clubs’ revenue performance, there is an increasing focus within European football on clubs achieving more sustainable levels of expenditure relative to revenues, particularly given UEFA’s financial fair play break-even requirement.

“Disciplined and responsible governance structures and financial management within European football, whilst providing the platform for investment in facilities and youth development, should only be encouraged.”