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Real Madrid becomes the first sports team in the world to generate €400m in revenues as it tops Deloitte Football Money League

  • On-pitch dominance takes Barcelona second as Manchester United slip to third
  • Clubs remain recession resilient with the majority showing revenue growth
  • Arsenal climbs to fifth as seven English clubs feature in Top 20

Real Madrid remains the world’s largest revenue generating football club, for the fifth consecutive year, according to the latest Football Money League from business advisory firm Deloitte. Real also becomes the first team in any sport to record revenues in excess of €400m in a single year.

Barcelona overtook Manchester United to finish second, with the English Champions falling to third in the report, which ranks the 20 biggest football clubs in the world based on revenue. Analysis in the Football Money League covers the 2008/09 season and is the most contemporary and reliable analysis of clubs’ relative financial performance.

Overall revenues for the Top 20 clubs increased in 2008/09 and were over €3.9 billion, as top clubs showed relative resistance to the economic downturn. Whilst combined revenue growth for the top 20 clubs slowed compared to previous years, the majority of clubs achieved revenue increases in local currency in 2008/09.

Dan Jones, Partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, commented: “Real Madrid’s 10% increase in revenue to €401m (£342m) came despite a relatively disappointing season domestically and in Europe. Broadcast income provided Real with its largest increase in revenue, and at €161m (£137m) is now greater than the total revenue of all but the top ten Money League clubs.

“FC Barcelona’s unprecedented on-pitch success, winning a domestic double and the Champions League, helped drive a revenue increase by €57m, the largest absolute increase of any Money League club, to €366m. This resulted in a Spanish one-two at the top of the Money League as, like in Rome last May, Barcelona proved just too strong for Manchester United. United slip to third and, like other English clubs, were impacted by the continuing depreciation of the Pound Sterling against the Euro. The scale of this is shown by the fact that if exchange rates remained at their June 2007 level, United would be top of the Money League table.”

Arsenal returned to the top five in the Money League after a one year absence, climbing one place to replace London rivals Chelsea, with a 7% increase in revenue to £224m (€263m). Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Newcastle United complete the seven English clubs in this year’s Money League.
All of this year’s top 20 clubs are from the ‘big five’ European leagues with Germany contributing five clubs, Italy four, and France and Spain represented by two clubs each.

There is now almost a €50m gap between tenth and eleventh place in the Money League. For certain clubs outside the top ten, consistent qualification for the Champions League combined with increased revenue opportunities from planned new facilities may allow them to bridge this gap.

Alan Switzer, Director in the Sports Business Group, said: “Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have created a clear revenue gap between themselves and their European competitors, and look set to contest the top two positions in the Money League for the foreseeable future, particularly if the Pound doesn’t strengthen against the Euro. However, new improved Premier League broadcast contracts, and in particular strong growth in the value of the league’s international rights, will provide a revenue boost to English clubs from 2010/11.

Paul Rawnsley, Director in the Sports Business Group, commented: “We continue to assert that the game’s top clubs are well placed to meet the challenges presented by the difficult economic environment. Their large and loyal supporter bases, ability to drive broadcast audiences, and continuing attraction to corporate partners provide a strong base to underpin revenues. This premise is supported by clubs’ revenue performance in 2008/09. However it will not be until 2009/10, the season currently in progress, before we see the full impact on clubs’ revenues.

Jones concluded: “Whilst there has been much recent comment on the finances of English football clubs, we believe the fundamentals of football remain strong. Financial problems experienced at the very highest level are far more likely to be a result of mismanagement, weak cost control or a lack of available credit than any problems with revenue generation.”


Note to editors

The Deloitte Football Money League – 2008/09 revenue

(prior year
Club Revenue (£m) Revenue (€m)
1 (1) Real Madrid 341.9 401.4
2 (3) FC Barcelona 311.7 365.9
3 (2) Manchester United 278.5 327.0
4 (4) Bayern Munich 246.6 289.5
5 (6) Arsenal 224.0 263.0
6 (5) Chelsea 206.4 242.3
7 (8) Liverpool 184.8 217.0
8 (11) Juventus 173.1 203.2
9 (10) Internazionale 167.4 196.5
10 (7) AC Milan 167.4 196.5
11 (15) Hamburger SV 124.9 146.7
12 (9) AS Roma 124.7 146.4
13 (12) Olympique Lyonnais 118.9 139.6
14 (16) Olympique de Marseille 113.5 133.2
15 (14) Tottenham Hotspur 113.0 132.7
16 (13) Schalke 04 106.0 124.5
17 (n/a) Werder Bremen 97.7 114.7
18 (20) Borussia Dortmund 88.1 103.5
19 (n/a) Manchester City 87.0 102.2
20 (17) Newcastle United 86.0 101.0

Source: Deloitte Football Money League 2010

This press release is based on the Deloitte Football Money League published in March 2010. As explained more fully in the publication, the revenue figures are extracted from each club’s annual financial statements, or other direct sources, for the 2008/09 season.

The two clubs that have dropped out of the Money League for 2008/09 (compared to the top 20 clubs based on 2007/08 revenue) are VfB Stuttgart and Fenerbahce.

There are many ways of examining the relative size, wealth or value of football clubs. For the Money League, revenue has been used as the most easily available and comparable measure of financial performance.

Revenue excludes player transfer fees, value added tax and other sales related taxes. In a few cases adjustments have been made to total revenue figures to enable, in our view, a more meaningful comparison of the football business on a club by club basis. For instance, where information was available to us, significant non-football activities or capital transactions have been excluded from revenue. Some revenue differences between clubs, or over time, will arise due to different commercial arrangements and how the transactions are recorded in clubs’ financial statements; or due to different ways in which accounting practice is applied such that the same type of transaction might be recorded in different ways.

We have not performed any verification work or audited any of the information contained in the clubs’ financial statements or other sources for the purpose of the publication.

For the purpose of the international comparisons, all figures for the 2008/09 season have been translated at 30 June 2009 exchange rates (£1 = €1.1741). The exchange rate for Pound Sterling to the Euro fell by 7% between 30 June 2008 and 30 June 2009. Comparative figures have been extracted from previous editions of the Money League.

Later this year the Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance will be published, providing a more detailed analysis of the English and European football finance landscape.

About the Sports Business Group at Deloitte

Over the last 15 years Deloitte has developed a unique focus on the business of sport. Our specialist Sports Business Group offers a multi-disciplined expert service with dedicated people and skills capable of adding significant value to the business of sport. Whether it is benchmarking or strategic business reviews, operational turnarounds, revenue enhancement strategies or stadium/venue development plans, business planning, market and demand analysis, acquisitions, due diligence, expert witness, audits or tax planning; we have worked with more clubs, leagues, governing bodies, stadia developers, event organisers, commercial partners, financiers and investors than any other adviser.

For further information on our services you can access our website at

About Deloitte

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (‘DTT’), a Swiss Verein, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTT and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.


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