Barcelona leapfrogs Madrid in ‘Money League’

LONDON-Barcelona has overtaken Real Madrid to top the Deloitte Football Money League for the first time and become the first club to break the 800 million euros ($890 million) revenue barrier.

The 23rd edition of the table shows an 11 percent rise in combined revenues, excluding transfer fees, for the top 20 clubs who enjoyed combined turnover of a record 9.3 billion euros for the 2018-19 season.

Real Madrid has dropped to second, generating income of 757.3 million euros, while Manchester United remains third.

Arsenal has slipped out of the top 10 for the first time.

Barcelona’s rise to the top with income of 840 million euros is a clear sign of “a club adapting to changing market conditions” by bringing merchandising and licensing activities in-house, according to Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.

“Barca has reduced the reliance on broadcast revenue and is focusing on growing revenues within its control,” he said.

“With the club expecting further growth of 30 million euros in commercial revenues and total revenue of almost 880 million in 2019-20 we expect them to retain the top spot next year.

“Barca is on course to achieve its stated ambition to be the first one billion Money League club in years to come.”

Bayern Munich remains in fourth position, with Paris Saint-Germain entering the top five ahead of Manchester City.

Champions League winner Liverpool is seventh, one place ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, which the Reds beat in the final.

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Tottenham’s 521.1 million euros income pushes it ahead of Chelsea and Arsenal, making it London’s highest revenue-generating club for the first time since the 1996-97 season.

Once again the Premier League’s eye-watering television broadcast deals have enabled it to dominate the Money League with eight clubs inside the top 20.

Spain’s La Liga and Germany’s Bundesliga both have three, while Italy’s Serie A has four. Juventus is the highest-placed Serie A club, in 10th, while the Turin giant’s domestic rival Napoli has moved into the top 20.

Juve’s revenue increased 17 percent to 459.7 million euros, helped by the arrival of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. PSG and Lyon are the only representatives of France’s Ligue 1 on the list.

While Jones says revenue growth in Europe’s big soccer leagues continues to outpace other sectors, mainly because of broadcasting rights, there is a marked concentration of increase at the top-the combined revenue of the top five clubs is greater than the combined total of the clubs ranked 10th to 20th.

“What is notable in this edition of the Money League is the apparent continuing emergence of ‘mini-leagues’ within the Money League,” he said. “The largest revenue-generating clubs continue to pull away from the rest.”

The highest-ranked club outside the big five leagues is the Netherlands’ Ajax, in 23rd place.


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