United pip Real to top Deloitte's money list

LONDON • Manchester United narrowly pipped Real Madrid to remain the top revenue-generating club in the world as Premier League sides underlined their growing financial clout, Deloitte's "Money League" report said yesterday.

It is the 10th time United have topped Deloitte's list, with revenue in 2016-17 of €676.3 million (S$1.09 billion) - €1.7 million ahead of the Spanish giants in the 21st edition of the list compiled by the British-based business advisory firm. Barcelona are third, followed by Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Arsenal.

Combined revenue for the top 20 Money League clubs in the last season grew six per cent to a record €7.9 billion.

United's Europa League victory was crucial to their financial performance, with Real's figures boosted by winning the Champions League and their Spanish league triumph.

A record 10 English clubs feature in the top 20, generating a total revenue of €3.8 billion, helped by income from the first season of the record Premier League broadcast rights deal.

Broadcast revenue is now the largest individual revenue stream for the Money League clubs, making up 45 per cent of total revenue and there is increasing speculation that the likes of Amazon and Facebook could become serious players, potentially giving a fresh cash injection.

The exponential growth in Premier League income is best illustrated by Bournemouth, whose stadium has a 11,464 capacity.

They are the world's 28th richest club, due to being in the English top flight for the second season in their history.

"As the Premier League is currently in the middle of its rights tender for the next cycle from 2019-20, the results of this will be crucial to determining the long-term composition of the Money League," said Tim Bridge, senior manager in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2018, with the headline 'United pip Real to top Deloitte's money list'. Print Edition | Subscribe