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Real Madrid Top Football Rich List Deloitte Football Money Version

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Real Madrid might have been humbled in its 5-0 defeat against Barcelona in the Spanish football league’s El Clásico this season, but the club has maintained the top spot ahead of its Catalan arch-rival in the annual Deloitte listings of Europe’s 20 richest clubs.

The weakening of sterling against the euro saw England’s Manchester United fall further behind Barcelona (€398m) in income, even though it maintained its third position with revenues up from €327m to €350m. Manchester United was the top-ranked European club from 1997 to 2004.

An analysis of European clubs’ accounts for the 2010 season shows Real Madrid’s total revenues rose from €401m ($548m) to €439m, making the club the game’s top revenue earner for the sixth year running – even though it was beaten to the domestic league title by Barcelona for the second successive year.

Dan Jones, author of the Deloitte Football Money League, said he predicted “a battle between Spain’s two superclubs for the top spot for the next few years, with on-pitch performance likely to be the key driver”.

But England retained the largest representation from any single country, with seven clubs making the cut, buoyed by strength in depth “driven by the scale and relatively even distribution of centrally negotiated broadcast monies”. English clubs, criticised by some fans for excessive ticket prices, generated higher match day revenues than continental rivals.

Germany’s Bayern Munich, struggling in this year’s Bundesliga, maintained its rank as Europe’s fourth-richest club, followed by England’s Arsenal and Chelsea, to leave the top six rankings unchanged.

Italian clubs AC Milan, Internazionale and Juventus maintained their positions in the top 10, French clubs Olympique Lyonnais and Marseille also held ground in the mid-tier with revenues exceeding €140m, while Germany’s Stuttgart and England’s Aston Villa entered the top 20 as revenues edged past €100m.

Manchester City, buoyed by the generous funding of its Middle East owners, made the biggest jump, from 20th to 11th position, as its revenues increased from €102m to €152m.

Overall, revenues of the top 20 clubs rose 8 per cent to €4.3bn, demonstrating an “impressive resilience to global economic woes, according to Deloitte.

Deloitte Football Money League

* 1) Real Madrid: 438.6m euros
* 2) Barcelona: 398.1m euros
* 3) Man Utd: 349.8m euros
* 4) Bayern Munich: 323m euros
* 5) Arsenal: 274.1m euros
* 6) Chelsea: 255.9m euros
* 7) AC Milan: 235.8.m euros
* 8) Liverpool: 225.3m euros
* 9) Inter Milan 224.8m euros
* 10) Juventus: 205m euros

Paul Rawnsley, director of Deloitte’s sports business group, said all top clubs seeking to compete in European competitions now faced the additional challenge of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules that start next season.

“The rules will require football clubs to balance the books, ensuring expenditure does not significantly exceed revenue over time,” he said. With the rules in place, Spain’s two leading clubs “will take some catching”, he added.

He said the strong revenues of English clubs would still allow them to compete for leading player transfer targets and pay attractive salaries compared with those on offer from the “vast majority of European rivals”.

But the success of English teams has been bought at a heavy cost. This month, Chelsea, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, posted a loss of £70m ($113m) for last season, while losses at Manchester City, owned by a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, made a pre-tax loss of £121.3m after investing in its squad.(FT) soccer extreme

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