Real Madrid retained the title of the world’s richest football club in the past year thanks to sponsorship and TV deals robust enough to endure a season without a major trophy, according to a Deloitte study.
Real’s revenue of $704m put the club ahead of domestic rivals Barcelona in fiscal 2012-13, with European champions Bayern Munich edging into third ahead of Manchester United, in the annual Football Money League.
Qatari-owned Paris St Germain (PSG), where former England captain David Beckham ended his career last year, underlined its emergence as a soccer power with an 81 percent rise in revenue to almost $542m to claim fifth spot.
Revenue for the top 20 teams rose by eight percent to $7.3bn, Deloitte said, underlining the appeal of football to broadcasters and sponsors targeting mass consumer markets.
Real Madrid and Barcelona are two of the most consistently successful teams in Europe, and enjoy the financial advantage of being able to negotiate their own TV deals, rather than pooling TV rights income as teams in other major leagues have to do.
Manchester United won the English Premier League for a record 20th time last year, but the team has struggled on the pitch this season and risks missing out on qualification for a place in the lucrative UEFA Champions League.
Despite the poor form, United are set for a big rise in turnover as benefits roll in from improved English Premier League TV contracts and new sponsorship deals.
The club is forecasting revenue for the current season of between $691.5m and $713m, up from $602m last season.
“eyond 2013-14, consistent qualification for the Champions League is key in United challenging to regain top spot in the Money League, a position it last held in 2003-04,” said Deloitte’s Austin Houlihan.
PSG have used their new-found riches to sign players such as Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovic and last May won the French league for the first time since 1994.
“PSG are the fastest climber in this year’s Money League, claiming the highest-ever position for a French club,” said Houlihan.
The largest part of PSG’s income last season came from commercial deals. Its sponsors include Emirates airlines, kit supplier Nike and the Qatar Tourism Authority.
Top 10 (revenue in USD)
1. Real Madrid (Spain) – 703m
2. Barcelona (Spain) – 655m
3. Bayern Munich (Germany) – 584m
4. Manchester United (England) – 575m
5. Paris St Germain (France) – 541m
6. Manchester City (England) – 428m
7. Chelsea (England) – 411m
8. Arsenal (England) – 385m
9. Juventus (Italy) – 369m
10. AC Milan (Italy) – 358m