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Manchester City Leap Five Places in Football Money League

Thu 24th Jan 2013 | Money & Finance

Manchester City’s title win and subsequent participation the UEFA Champions League has propelled them to seventh place with revenues of £231.1m in the 16th edition of the Football Money League from Deloitte, the business advisory firm.

However, they still lag behind Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United who occupy 6th, 5th, and 3rd positions respectively but are this year’s joint highest climbers, along with Borussia Dortmund (11th) and Napoli (15th), claiming a top 10 position for the first time. 

Austin Houlihan, Senior Manager in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “Manchester City’s Premier League title winning season combined with participation in the UEFA Champions League, helped drive 51% revenue growth to £231.1m, the largest absolute and relative growth of any Money League club. 

“The club’s progress to the top of the English and European game means that they are set to remain a top 10 Money League club for the foreseeable future, and will look to push on ahead of the two English clubs immediately above them in the Money League, Arsenal and Chelsea, for a top five ranking.”

City’s ascendancy means there are now five Premier League clubs in the top ten and seven in the top twenty with Newcastle United making it back in for the first time since 2008.  The Magpies had been present in all 12 editions of the Deloitte Football Money League up to and including the 2007/08 season with their highest position being fifth in 1997/98. In 2011/12 revenue totalled £93.3m, an increase of £4.7m (5%) from the previous year.

But despite the Premier League’s dominance in the table, Real Madrid has become the first club in any sport to surpass the €500m (£414.7m) revenue threshold in a single year. The Spanish club achieved a €33.1m (7%) increase in revenue to €512.6m, and in doing so has claimed the top position in the Money League for a record equalling eighth year, matching Manchester United’s reign from 1996/97 to 2003/04.

The combined revenues of the world’s 20 highest earning football clubs have grown 10% on the previous year to reach €4.8bn in 2011/12. However, in local currency, eight of the top 20 clubs experienced a drop in revenue, in most cases due to less successful on-pitch performance in European club competitions, and resulting reductions in matchday revenues and central UEFA distributions, rather than wider recessionary impacts.

Dan Jones, Partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “Real have led the way in the phenomenal rate of revenue growth achieved by the game’s top clubs, with the double digit (10%) increase by the top 20 clubs representing continued strong performance in these tough economic times.  The combined revenues of the top 20 clubs have quadrupled since we began our analysis in 1996/97.

“Whilst eight of the top 20 clubs experienced a drop in revenue in 2011/12, in most cases this was due to less successful on-pitch performances in European club competitions, rather than wider recessionary impacts.  Combined, the 20 Money League clubs contribute over one-quarter of the total revenues of the European football market.  The top 20 can be expected to generate over €5bn between them in 2012/13.”

For the fifth successive year, the clubs comprising the top six places in the Money League – Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Arsenal – remain the same. 

Jones noted: “An unchanged top six emphasises the fact that these clubs have some of the largest fanbases and hence strongest revenues, in both domestic and international markets.” 

Chelsea’s feat in becoming the first London club to win the UEFA Champions League, allowed it to claim fifth place.  However, an early exit from European competition this year and capacity constraints of their Stamford Bridge home could see them slip down the Money League next year.

Manchester United retain third place in the Money League despite revenues declining by £11.1m (3%) to £320.3m in a season which saw the club narrowly miss out on retaining their Premier League title as well as suffer early exits from the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup.

Houlihan explained: “Manchester United continue to successfully leverage their global brand. The new world-record seven-year shirt sponsorship deal with General Motors will double the revenues the club receives from its shirt partner in the first season of the new deal in 2014/15. 

“This combined with new Premier League broadcast deals from 2013/14, which will deliver incremental distributions of between £20m and £30m per club, will help Manchester United push the two Spanish clubs above them, for a top two ranking.  Indeed the new Premier League deals could mean that half of the Money League top 20 are represented by English clubs in a few years’ time.”


The Deloitte Football Money League – 2011/12 revenue 

Position (prior
year position)


2011/12 Revenue (€m) (2010/11 Revenue)

2011/12 Revenue (£m)
(2010/11 Revenue)

1 (1)

Real Madrid

512.6 (479.5)

414.7 (433)

2 (2)

FC Barcelona

483 (450.7)

390.8 (407)

3 (3)

Manchester United

395.9 (367)

320.3 (331.4)

4 (4)

Bayern Munich

368.4 (321.4)

298.1 (290.3)

5 (5)


322.6 (253.1)

261 (228.6)

6 (6)


290.3 (251.1)

234.9 (226.8)

7 (12)

Manchester City

285.6 (169.6)

231.1 (153.2)

8 (7)

AC Milan

256.9 (234.8)

207.9 (212)

9 (9)


233.2 (203.3)

188.7 (183.6)

10 (13)


195.4 (153.9)

158.1 (139)

11 (16)

Borussia Dortmund

189.1 (138.5)

153 (125.1)

12 (8)


185.9 (211.4)

150.4 (190.9)

13 (11)

Tottenham Hotspur

178.2 (181)

144.2 (163.5)

14 (10)

Schalke 04

174.5 (202.4)

141.2 (182.8)

15 (20)


148.4 (114.9)

120.1 (103.8)

16 (14)

Olympique de Marseille

135.7 (150.4)

109.8 (135.8)

17 (17)

Olympique Lyonnais

131.9 (132.8)

106.7 (119.9)

18 (18)

Hamburger SV

121.1 (128.8)

98 (116.3)

19 (15)

AS Roma

115.9 (143.5)

93.8 (129.6)

20 (new)

Newcastle United

115.3 (98)

93.3 (88.5)

Source: Deloitte Football Money League 2013 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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