February 26, 2024

Money League: no one generates more money than these 20 clubs

February 26, 2024

Money League: no one generates more money than these 20 clubs

For the first time in history, the top 20 richest clubs in the world generated revenue exceeding 10 billion euros. This is one of the main conclusions of the 27th edition of the Deloitte Football Money League study.

In total, during the 2022/23 sports season, €10.5 billion euros were generated, representing a 14 percent increase compared to the previous season, which was still affected by some limitations imposed by the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite Manchester City's dream season under Pep Guardiola, where they achieved a historic treble, the current European champions were dethroned from the top of this 'financial league' by Real Madrid. The citizens, who held the first place in the Money League in 2021/22, dropped to second place, with a total revenue of €825.9M, the highest in the club's history but not surpassing Real Madrid's earnings. The Merengues, who finished the season only winning the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Super Cup, generated a total of €831.4M.

Closing the podium, Paris Saint-Germain, with a total of €802M, outperformed FC Barcelona, which experienced one of the biggest jumps within the Money League. From the seventh position in 2021/22, Barcelona rose to the fourth position in 2022/23, with revenue of €800M, according to Deloitte's annual study.

In contrast, it is worth noting the decline of Liverpool FC from third to seventh place. The reds, along with Atlético de Madrid and West Ham United, were the only three clubs in this top to experience a decrease in revenue compared to the previous sports season.

England Dominates the Money League – and more

In the Money League, the official language could well be English, with eight Premier League clubs making it into this revenue ranking. They are Manchester City (2nd place/€825.9M), Manchester United (5th/€745.8M), Liverpool (7th/€682.9M), Tottenham (8th/€631.5M), Chelsea (9th/€589.4M), Arsenal (10th/€532.6M), Newcastle (17th/€287.8M), and West Ham United (18th/€275.1€).

Italy follows as the second most represented country in this top 20, with Juventus (11th/€432.4M), AC Milan (13th/€385.3M), Inter Milan (14th/€378.9M), and Napoli (19th/€267.7M). Spain, with Real Madrid (1st/€831.4M), FC Barcelona (4th/€800M), and Atlético de Madrid (15th/€364.1M), and Germany, with Bayern Munich (6th/€744M), Borussia Dortmund (12th/€420M), and Eintracht Frankfurt (16th/€293.5M), each have three representatives. Among the top five leagues, France is the one with the least representation, only with two clubs: PSG (3rd/€801.8M) and Marseille (20th/€258.4M).

However, the dominance of teams from Her Majesty's land is not limited to this top 20. The Deloitte study also looked at the 10 clubs that are 'on the lookout' to enter this Money League: Aston Villa (21st/€250.5M), Brighton & Hove Albion (22nd/€231.3M), Fulham (26th/€209.8M), Leeds (27th/€207.8M), Crystal Palace (28th/€206.5M), and Everton (30th/€198M).

The dominance of the so-called Big Five is only interrupted by the presence of SL Benfica (22nd/€233.4M), representing the Liga Portugal Betclic. However, the future may bring more 'intruders,' as the report highlights the growth of clubs outside of Europe, with special emphasis on the revenue growth of Inter Miami, a team in the MLS, the top North American football league, featuring Argentine star Lionel Messi.

The report also points to the potential financial gains resulting from the Club World Cup scheduled for 2025, with substantial financial prizes, where 20 non-European clubs will participate.

Deconstructing a Historic Number

The achievement of this record-breaking revenue number was significantly influenced by the increase in stadium revenues (€1.9B in 2022/23), driven by the return of fans to stadiums after a season without restrictions. Eager for football, fans of the so-called "beautiful game" brought human presence back to the venues, with notable increases in the Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, and LaLiga.

Simultaneously, the commercial revenues of these 20 clubs rose by 16 percent compared to the 2021/22 season, resulting in a total of €4.4B, establishing itself as the primary source of income for clubs in this 'financial league.'

Regarding the main revenue streams, the only category that did not experience a double-digit increase is related to television rights, which grew by only 5 percent. However, broadcasting rights for games continue to represent, on average, about 40 percent of a club's revenues in the Money League.