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Man Utd dethroned as richest club

Dr Kenneth Noisewater

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Man Utd dethroned as richest club


Real Madrid have leapfrogged Manchester United to become the world's richest football club in terms of income, according to a report.


After eight years at the top of the Deloitte Football Money League, United were pushed into second place based on revenues from the 2004-5 season.


Real Madrid's income has doubled in the past five years, as players such as David Beckham have boosted shirt sales.


Nine British clubs made it into the list of the world's richest 20 teams.


Liverpool moved up to eighth in the table after their Champions League victory gave a major boost to their income.


The Deloitte review does not include the cost of transfer fees or player wages and concentrates solely on day-to-day income from football business such as ticket sales, merchandising and broadcast revenues.


As a consequence, Chelsea came fifth in the table with income of £149m despite making a record £140m loss last season.


On pitch performance


Manchester United lost their tag as the world's richest club in income terms in the same season that it was finally bought by US businessman Malcolm Glazer.


The club's income fell to £166.4m from £171.5m the year before, due mainly to reduced broadcasting revenues both at home and in Europe.


However, it still made more from match day revenues - including ticket sales and corporate hospitality - than any other club.


Deloitte said Manchester United was unlikely to reclaim top spot this year because of its early exit from the Champions League.


But it said it could return to the top in the future especially as it was further expanding the capacity of its Old Trafford ground which would bring in more revenue.


"United remain one of the foremost brands in the industry and are still clearly the most profitable club in terms of day-to-day operations," said Dan Jones, partner at Deloitte's business sports group.


But he added: "The club will want to improve its performance on the pitch to help management's efforts to increase commercial value."


More than 40% of Real Madrid's income comes from commercial revenues and the club recently secured a £14m-a-year shirt sponsorship deal with Taiwan's BenQ mobile.


Real Madrid's commercial supremacy has come despite a relative lack of success on the pitch in recent seasons.


The club has only won the Spanish Championship once in the last four seasons, while it last won the Champions League in 2002.


Star appeal


However, the appeal of star players such as David Beckham, Ronaldo and Raul have helped boost the club's merchandising efforts. It has used the appeal of these players to boost sales of shirts and other merchandise, particularly in Asia where David Beckham has a huge personal following.


"Real Madrid have been more successful in turning their international support into revenues than most other clubs including Manchester United," Deloitte's Paul Rawnsley said.


Arsenal, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Celtic, Manchester City and Everton are the other British clubs to make it into the top 20.


Everton made it into the list for the first time after finishing fourth in the English Premiership last season.


The combined income of the top twenty clubs surpassed £2bn for the first time in 2004-5.


Deloitte said it expected more French and German clubs to feature in the list in future seasons because television revenues in the two countries had increased substantially.


1(2) Real Madrid £186.2m

2(1) Man Utd £166.4m

3(3) AC Milan £158m

4(5) Juventus £154.9m

5(4) Chelsea £149.1m

6(7) Barcelona £140.4m

7(9) Bayern Munich £128m

8(10) Liverpool £122.4m

9(8) Inter Milan £119.7m

10(6) Arsenal £115.7m

11(12) Roma £89m

12(11) Newcastle £87.1m

13(14) Spurs £70.6m

14(17) Schalke £65.8m

15(-) Lyon £62.7m

16(13) Celtic £62.6m

17(16) Man City £60.9m

18(-) Everton £60m

19(-) Valencia £57.2m

20(15) Lazio £56.1m


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