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Manchester United’s record revenue unseats Real Madrid at top of rich list

The Guardian logo The Guardian 19-01-2017
20-11: Surprise champions Leicester gatecrash the elite: There are plenty of familiar faces just outside the top 10, with Borussia Dortmund (11) followed by Premier League title contenders Tottenham (12), who surely fancy their chances of climbing higher upon the completion of their new stadium and with regular Champions League football appearing likely under Mauricio Pochettino. Both those sides are unchanged from the previous list, but Atletico Madrid climbed from 16th to 13th, while AC Milan dropped back two places to find themselves behind Schalke (14) and the unchanged Roma (15).Zenit and Inter are up one place each to 17 and 19 respectively, while West Ham (18) and Leicester (20) are the new faces. Deloitte Football Money League 2017, 20-11:11 (11) Borussia Dortmund (€283.9m, up from €280.6m)12 (12) Tottenham Hotspur (€279.7m, up from €257.5m)13 (16) Atletico Madrid (€228.6m, up from €176.6m)14 (13) Schalke (€224.5m, up from €219.7m)15 (15) Roma (€218.2m, up from €179.1m)16 (14) AC Milan (€214.7m, up from €199.1m)17 (18) Zenit (€196.5m, up from €167.8m)18 (na) West Ham (€192.3m, up from €160.9m)19 (20) Inter (€179.2m, up from €164.8m)20 (na) Leicester City (€172.1m, up from €137.2m) Which is the richest club in the world?

Manchester United have regained the top spot in the Deloitte rich list from Real Madrid with record revenue of £515.3m for the 2015-16 season. Having topped the Football Money League for 11 consecutive seasons, Real posted revenue of £463.8m to slip down to third behind Barcelona, despite winning the Champions League.

Leicester City, the Premier League champions, are one of eight English clubs to feature in the top 20 having generated combined revenues of nearly £2.4bn.

Manchester City, fifth with £392.6m, have seen their revenue rise by more than £100m from 2014-15, while Arsenal (£350.4m), Chelsea (£334.6m) and Liverpool (£302m) are seventh to ninth respectively. Tottenham Hotspur (12th with £209.2m), West Ham United (18th with £143.8m) and Leicester (20th with £128.7m) complete the list of Premier League clubs in the top 20.

It is United’s return to the top spot for the first time since 2003-04 which is most eye-catching after they broke the world transfer record in signing Paul Pogba from Juventus for £92m in August. Their revenue is the highest recorded by a football club and grew strongly across all three of the revenue categories – matchday, broadcast and commercial – compared with 2014-15.

That was helped by United’s return to the Champions League, despite being eliminated in the group stages under Louis van Gaal, although Dan Jones, a partner in the sports business group at Deloitte, believes the 20-times English champions’ commercial revenue growth of £71m has enabled them to overtake Madrid.

Jones said: “In recent years, their ability to secure commercial partnerships with value in excess of that achievable by their peers has been the crucial factor in enabling the club to regain their place at the top of the Money League.

“That said, they’ll face strong competition from Barcelona and Real Madrid to retain the top spot in next year’s edition, due to the lack of Champions League football, the weakening of the pound against the euro and, over the longer term, as other clubs enter the commercial market demanding similar deals, using United as the precedent.”

According to Deloitte, the growing financial strength of the Premier League shows no signs of abating after the record £5.14bn deal for domestic TV rights kicked in at the start of last season.

“The Money League continues to demonstrate the Premier League’s financial strength in depth,” said Deloitte’s senior manager Tim Bridge. “The appearance of Leicester shows on-pitch success gives any Premier League team a chance of a position in the top 20. There is a strong chance that almost all Premier League clubs will be in the top 30 clubs next year.”

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