Manchester United may have had their worst season for two decades last year but they have reclaimed second spot in the list of the world’s richest football clubs.
Only European champions Real Madrid stand ahead in terms of income, while Barcelona by contrast are struggling to keep pace financially with their Spanish rivals, United and Bayern Munich.
The Football Money League compiled by Deloitte sees Real established at the top of the tree for the 10th year in succession, with revenues of £459m, while United are on £433m, Bayern £407m and Barcelona £405m.
Manchester City remain in sixth position behind Paris Saint-Germain, with Chelsea and Arsenal sustaining their seventh and eighth places and Liverpool up to ninth.
A Deloitte spokesman said: “A season that saw Manchester United finish in their lowest league position since the start of the Premier League era actually saw the Red Devils reclaim second spot in the money league.
“Their commercial growth… continues to yield record-breaking deals. If the club can regain their Champions League status for the 2015/16 season, there is a strong possibility they will also regain top spot in our money league for that season.”
Indeed, almost half of the top 30 richest clubs are now made up of Premier League sides and that figure is likely to increase; Newcastle United and Everton have appeared at the top of the list for the first time, in 19th and 20th position respectively.
The spokesman added: “It is with great anticipation that we wait to see what the new round of Premier League broadcast deals, expected to be agreed in 2015, will yield. With the market expectation that another significant increase will occur, it is likely that the money league will have a strongly English appearance in the coming years.”
The Deloitte report underscores the changing landscape in relation to the European powerhouses, highlighted by the decline of Italian clubs in terms of finances; in 2001 Italy had five clubs in the top 10 and only Juventus, who significantly have built a new stadium, remain there in 10th position.
It also shows the continuing value to the Spanish clubs to be able to negotiate their own broadcast rights – Real earned more than twice the sum of Atletico Madrid in broadcast income despite their city rivals winning the league and reaching the Champions League final.