Which football club is the richest in the world?
Living in an era of football where money defines pretty much all corners of the sport, where defenders are being bought and sold for as much as £80 million (€88m/$108m), finances mean everything. Each transfer window brings bigger sums, and the prices don’t seem to be dropping anytime soon. Once considered a large amount, £50m (€55m/$61m) payouts for players have been deemed as the norm, and player contracts grow even more lucrative with each passing year. But which football club is the richest in the world? Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? The Deloitte Football Money League, now in its 22nd edition, ranks the top 20 clubs by revenue in world football. Deloitte’s findings in the latest edition of their Football Money League, published in January 2019, show that Real Madrid are the richest club in the world after they generated €750.9m (£685.1m/$833.6m) in revenue in the 2017-18 season, which set a new record.The revenue figures are extracted from the annual financial statements of the company or group that owns each club, along with other direct sources, for the 2017-18 season. There are a multitude of ways to measure a club’s financial performance, but for Deloitte, revenue has been used as the most easily available and comparable measure of financial performance. Los Blancos were followed by rivals Barcelona (€690.4m) and Manchester United (€666m). The gap between the top two richest clubs was the second-largest yet, with €61.5m separating Real Madrid and Barcelona. It is the 12th time that Madrid topped the rankings, and the first time since the 2014-15 season. The club were boosted by their Champions League success, winning their third straight European title and their fourth in five years under Zinedine Zidane. The Liga giants experienced enormous commercial growth of €54.8m, which included an increase in sponsorship and merchandising revenues, in addition to the revenue earned from their international pre-season tour matches. All 20 of the clubs represented in the standings come from Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues. Nine of the 20 teams in the rankings hail from the Premier League, while four of the teams are from Italy, three from Spain, three from Germany, and one from France. German champions Bayern are positioned after Man Utd in the fourth spot, and they are followed immediately by Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City, Qatar-owned PSG and Premier League heavyweights Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham.”At the top, we have seen Real Madrid shatter records, becoming the first club to break the three-quarters of a billion-Euro mark and claim a record 12th Money League title in the process,” said Dan Jones, a partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.He added: “Real Madrid’s outstanding financial performance in 2017-18 is built on their long history of success on the pitch, most recently three consecutive Champions League titles. This has enabled the club to continue to drive commercial revenue as the appetite to partner with Europe’s most successful clubs remains stronger than ever.”Europe’s top 20 richest football teams Pos Club 2017-18 Revenue (€m) 2016-17 Revenue (€m) 1 (2) Real Madrid 750.9 674.6 2 (3) Barcelona 690.4 648.3 3 (1) Manchester United 666 676.3 4 (4) Bayern 629.2 587.8 5 (5) Manchester City 568.4 527.7 6 (7) Paris Saint-Germain 541.7 486.2 7 (9) Liverpool 513.7 424.2 8 (8) Chelsea 505.7 428 9 (6) Arsenal 439.2 487.6 10 (11) Tottenham 428.3 359.5 11 (10) Juventus 394.9 405.7 12 (12) Borussia Dortmund 317.2 332.6 13 (13) Atletico Madrid 304.4 272.5 14 (15) Inter 280.8 262.1 15 (n/a) Roma 250 171.8 16 (16) Schalke 243.8 230.2 17 (20) Everton 212.9 199.2 18 (n/a) Milan 207.7 191.7 19 (n/a) Newcastle 201.5 99.7 20 (17) West Ham 197.9 213.3