LONDON • Manchester United have dropped a place to third in the Deloitte rich list behind Real Madrid and Barcelona but could claim the No. 1 position next year for the first time in more than a decade, according to the company.
United's revenue of €519.5 million (S$815.2 million) for 2014-15 broke the half a billion euro barrier for a second consecutive season.
A record nine Premier League clubs are placed in the top 20 , generating €3 billion between them, with West Ham United a new entry.
England's grip on the list is unlikely to weaken any time soon, with new television rights deals worth around £8 billion (S$16.3 billion) due to kick in later this year.
Real are top for an 11th straight year, their €577m beating Barcelona's €560.8m.
Manchester United were the only club in the top 10 who did not participate in the Champions League last season, a further indicator of the club's financial strength.
Deloitte's Tim Bridge said: "The fact Manchester United remain in the top three of the money league demonstrates the underlying strength of the club's business model. The return to Champions League football (this season), as well as the commencement of a number of significant commercial partnerships, will only strengthen the business in 2015-16.
"With this in mind, it would not be surprising to see United top next year's money league for the first time in 12 years, with the club forecasting revenues of around £500 million."
Dan Jones, who edited the report, said: "For the first time the top three clubs in the Football Money League have all passed the €500 million revenue mark. Real Madrid once again delivered a strong financial performance, buoyed by growth in their commercial revenue. The planned redevelopment of the Santiago Bernabeu will help to continue the growth in matchday income in the coming years.
"Barcelona's achievements in the 2014-15 season have translated to financial success. The European champions have climbed to second place at the expense of Manchester United, with revenue growth across all areas of the business - matchday, broadcast and commercial."