Real Madrid is for the tenth successive year the richest football club of the world, according to a report from accounting and consulting firm Deloitte. With eight clubs in the top 20 of richest clubs, the Premier League continues to expand its domination. Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United is the wealthiest UK-based club, while Everton can call itself the financially fastest growing club.
Every year the Sports Group of Deloitte assesses the finances of the highest earning clubs in the world. The latest report – titled ‘Football Money League 2015’ – reveals that the world’s most popular sport is increasingly seeing a gap, at least in financial terms, between the elite and the rest. In 2004, the 20th richest club of the globe, Aston Villa, had a revenue of €84 million, while the richest club (Manchester United) earned €259 million. Ten years later the financial threshold for the top-20 has risen to €144 million (Everton this year), with leader Real Madrid earning a staggering €550 million. The ‘explosion’ in revenues is mainly the result of large increases in broadcast revenue, supplemented by income from commercial merchandise.
An overview of the 20 richest football clubs of the globe:
Together, these 20 clubs have an aggregate annual revenue of more than €6 billion, a barrier which they have exceeded for the first time. At the top end of the Money League, Manchester United joined Real Madrid as the only clubs to earn over €500 million. German champions Bayern Munich come in third place, with Lionel Messi’s FC Barcelona in fourth. England’s second richest club, Manchester City, has a revenue of €414 million, 25% less than its city rivals. The number 20 of the list, Everton, earns slight more than €400 million less than Real Madrid. Clubs from the English Premier League dominate the top 20 – the number of clubs increased from six last year to eight in the 2015 edition. A view at the top 40 however makes the financial edge of English clubs more striking: the number of Premier League clubs in the top 30 has risen from eight to 14 and all 20 Premier League clubs are now within the top 40 globally. This can according to the researchers be explained by one factor: the much larger broadcast revenue that English Premier League clubs enjoy, as well as the relative equality of its distribution.
An analysis of the growth rate of clubs shows that Everton was the financially fastest growing club last year, boosting its finances by 43%, followed by Champions League finalist Atlético de Madrid (+42%) and Italian side Napoli (+42%). Only two clubs in the top 20 saw their revenue fall – Milan-based giants AC Milan and Inter Milan.