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Real Madrid are the highest-revenue-generating club in world soccer, according to a new report.
The Spanish giants, who have won the Champions League for three consecutive seasons, turned over a record €750.9 million ($854.8m) in the 2017/18 season, the Deloitte Football Money League 2019 found.
Barcelona, who currently lead La Liga, is second with revenue of €690.4 million ($785.5m) while Manchester United, first last year, finishes third with €666 million ($758m). It is the twelfth time Real Madrid has topped the rankings but the first time since 2014/15 that Spanish clubs have finished in the top two.
Deloitte’s analysis revealed the top 20 highest earning clubs saw their combined revenues grow 6%, to a record €8.3 billion ($9.4b). The top three generated €2.1 billion ($2.3b) together, more than double their combined revenue of 10 years previously.
Income from broadcasting was again the largest income stream (43% of total revenue), followed by commercial revenue (increase to 40%) and matchday revenue (17%).
Real Madrid’s revenue rose by more than €75 million ($85.4m), driven by the growth of €54.8 million ($62.4m) in commercial revenue, including increased sponsorship, merchandising and lucrative pre-season friendlies.
Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said European soccer remained a “bull market”.
“Real Madrid’s outstanding financial performance in 2017/18 is built on their long history of success on the pitch, most recently three consecutive Champions League titles. This has enabled the club to continue to drive commercial revenue as the appetite to partner with Europe’s most successful clubs remains stronger than ever,” he said.
“Most of our top 10 are through to the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League and forecasting further revenue growth, meaning their relative performances in UEFA’s flagship competition this season could have a noticeable impact on our rankings next year.”
Built on the back of a bumper broadcasting deal, 2017/18 was a positive season financially for the top English clubs. The Premier League dominates the Money League top ten with six teams. Tottenham Hotspur (10th) entered the top 10 for the first time since 2006/07, joining Manchester United, Manchester City (5th), Liverpool (7th), Chelsea (8th) and Arsenal (9th).
While the outlay of several hundred million dollars on attackers Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappé would have hit the balance sheet at Paris Saint-Germain, the French club saw the commercial benefits of the star signings.
Driven by the club’s success on the pitch and demand to see two of soccer’s biggest stars, PSG enjoyed the growth of 12% and 14% in matchday and commercial revenue, respectively. PSG’s overall revenue rose to €541.7m ($616.9), putting the club sixth, up one place from last year.
Sam Boor, senior manager in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte said: “Our research has identified how the potential for a marquee global star player to provide a competitive advantage off-pitch is perhaps gaining in importance as an element for clubs to consider when devising their transfer policy.
“We have already seen evidence of how signing such players can have a positive financial impact, and next year it will be interesting to see if the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer of 2018 brings similar on and off-pitch benefits for Juventus, having slipped out of the top 10 for the first time since 2011/12.”
Position (last year’s position) Club 2017/18 Revenue in €m (US$m)
1 (2) Real Madrid 750.9 (854.8)
2 (3) FC Barcelona 690.4 (785.8)
3 (1) Manchester United 666 (758)
4 (4) Bayern Munich 629.2 (716.4)
5 (5) Manchester City 568.4 (647.1)
6 (7) Paris Saint-Germain 541.7 (616.7)
7 (9) Liverpool 513.7 (584.8)
8 (8) Chelsea 505.7 (575.7)
9 (6) Arsenal 439.2 (500.1)
10 (11) Tottenham Hotspur 428.3 (487.7)
11 (10) Juventus 394.9 (449.6)
12 (12) Borussia Dortmund 317.2 (361.1)
13 (13) Atlético de Madrid 304.4 (346.6)
14 (15) Internazionale 280.8 (319.7)
15 (n/a) AS Roma 250 (284.6)
16 (16) Schalke 04 243.8 (277.6)
17 (20) Everton 212.9 (242.4)
18 (n/a) AC Milan 207.7 (236.5)
19 (n/a) Newcastle United 201.5 (229.4)
20 (17) West Ham 197.9 (225.3)