Madrid, Barca top Football Money League

2014-01-23 09:13

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London – Real Madrid and Barcelona are football’s biggest moneymakers for the fifth straight year, while Manchester United lost their place among the top three biggest-earning clubs for the first time.

United, who are enduring a lacklustre season under new manager David Moyes, dropped to fourth behind European champions Bayern Munich in the Football Money League compiled by accountancy firm Deloitte.

The biggest growth in 2012-13 was at Paris Saint-Germain. They leapt from 10th to fifth as the club’s global profile was enhanced by David Beckham’s four-month spell in the championship-winning team.

Madrid stayed top for the ninth straight year after revenue rose slightly to €518.9 million (R7.7 billion) while Spanish rivals Barcelona had revenues of €482.6 million.

“Real Madrid remain firmly at the top of the money league even though the club experienced a trophyless end to the 2012-13 season,” said Dan Jones, a partner in the sports business group at Deloitte.

“Despite tough economic conditions, particularly within Spain, the club’s ability to generate substantial commercial revenue domestically and internationally is central to their success.

“This helped widen the gap to their nearest rivals in the money league, Barcelona, to £36 million (R644 million). Both Spanish clubs enjoy substantial revenue from individually negotiated broadcast deals, which is key in contributing to their overall revenue advantage over their European peers.”

In Germany, Bayern’s income leapt 17% to €431.2 million as the German club won the Champions League, Bundesliga and the German Cup.

United’s growth was slower – 13% to £363.2 million – as the team collected the Premier League title before manager Alex Ferguson retired in May.

Jones said: “It is the first time Manchester United have dropped out of the top three, but Bayern had an exceptional year. Next year, United will have the Chevrolet [shirt sponsorship] deal plus other new commercial deals in their figures, and the new Premier League TV deal, so we are confident they will be back in the top three.”

But United is seventh on the Premier League log, 14 points behind leaders Arsenal, with a fight to secure one of the four Champions League spots.

“The longer term depends in part on what happens on the pitch. If they do not qualify for next season’s Champions League, that is probably worth €50 million directly in terms of money from TV and attendances at Old Trafford,” Jones said.

Deloitte revealed details of clubs yet to publish their 2012-13 accounts, including two of the biggest-spending clubs – Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City – who face a challenge complying with Uefa’s financial fair play regulations. The Gulf-owned teams have benefited from sponsorship deals related to their owners.

Income at Qatar-owned PSG soared by 180% to €398.8 million as they won the French league for the first time in 19 years.

Said Austin Houlihan of Deloitte: “We expect to see them become a mainstay in the top five in years to come, backed by their ambitious Qatari owners and strong commercial support.

“The high-profile signing of David Beckham in the second half of the 2012-13 season only served to enhance the club’s worldwide profile. Importantly, commercial success off the pitch is translating into improved on-pitch performances for the club.”

Man City’s turnover rose by 17% to £271 million despite the Abu Dhabi-owned team failing to win a trophy last season.

Two Premier League rivals are directly below City with Chelsea’s turnover dropping slightly to £260 million and Arsenal’s rising to £243.6 million.

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