Deloitte’s “Football Money League” Posts €5.4 Billion


“Revenue for the world’s 20 highest earning clubs reached €5.4bn last season, recording growth of over €400m (8%), according to the 17th edition of the Football Money League from Deloitte.” – Deloitte Press Release

Champions League and domestic dominance may be the primary goals of any world-class player plying his trade in the beautiful game, but speak to any Owner, President, or CFO of a major club and they’ll tell you that Deloitte’s annual “Football Money League” is the revenue based competition that every organization wants to be appearing in.

The financial sports gurus over at Deloitte’s Sports Business Group just released their 2014 “Football Money League” that assesses the financial performance of the world’s largest soccer organizations for the 2012/13 season.  The report, along with their annual review of Football Finance that publishes every summer, has become a staple read for any consumer of the sports’ business and financial aspects.

This year showed some interesting shifts among the major movers and shakers.  While the list details the top 20 clubs globally in terms of generated revenue, they also include a nearly made it list of the 21st-30th place.  An interesting note about the combined top 20 + the honorable mentions is that for the first time in Money League history, in order to make the top 30 clubs, an organization needed to generate over €100 million in revenue.  The report started in 1996/97 and it wasn’t until 2008/09 that the top 20 clubs all generated €100 million.

As far as the make up of the top 20 goes, it has been and will be we reported heavily that Manchester United with €423.8 million have found themselves out of the top 3 for the first time since Deloitte began compiling this report.  They have been replaced at third place with German Giants Bayern Munich who brought in €431.2 million on the back of their Treble winning season last year. They sit behind perennial table toppers Real Madrid and FC Barcelona who both earned €518.9 million and €482.6 million respectively.  Real Madrid tops the list for the 9th consecutive year and remains that only club to break half a billion Euros in revenue though Barcelona looks to end that after this season.

PSG Qatar Tourism Authority - Photo Courtesy of

PSG & Qatar Tourism Authority – Photo Courtesy of

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City make up 5th and 6th places with the Parisians representing the largest change as they jump five places from their 2011/12 10th place finish.  PSG showed massive growth from last season posting revenues of €398.8 million, an 80% increase on their 2011/12 €220.5 revenue figures while Manchester City posted a modest 10% growth from 2011/12 with €316.2 million.

Brits and Italians round out the top 10 with Chelsea, Arsenal, Juventus and AC Milan in that order.  Juventus is the only club of the four to be moving up the table from 13th place the previous year.  Chelsea and Arsenal were both replaced by PSG and City respectively and unlike their replacements, showed decreases from their 2011/12 numbers.

The bottom half of the 20 includes a relatively even distribution of German, Italian, Turkish British and Spanish clubs though this is the first time two Turkish clubs have made the list as well as some noticeable French departures that leave PSG as the only Gaul in the group.  Overall England still has the best representation with 6 followed by Italy and Germany with 4 representatives each, then comes Spain with 3 and as mentioned earlier Turkey’s 2 and France’s single solitary representative.

There are some pretty interesting and important numbers throughout this whole report but an interesting figure seems to still be €100 million specifically in relation to broadcasting revenue.

€100 million may be the magic total revenue number to make the top 30, but it also appears to be a minimum for the top 10 when it comes to broadcasting revenue.  Only PSG bucks the trend with €90.9 million, but every other club exceeded €100 million with Real Madrid and Barcelona both breaking €188 million. No bottom 10 club broke €90 million, let alone €100 million in broadcasting which highlights the importance of Champions League TV money for clubs outside major TV deal leagues.

Commercial revenue continues to be a massively important contributor, most clubs recognize this and continue to lock up deals and sponsors, though no one better than PSG at €254.7 million, the highest ever individual revenue source from a club.  Manchester United may be the butt of the jokes regarding their plethora of corporate partners, sponsors and hand shake recipients, but their €177 million is part of whats keeping them in the top 4, along with the best matchday revenue of any club on the list.

Lots of things contribute to clubs’ matchday, broadcasting and commercial revenue numbers every year such as Champions League participation which can provide sell-out crowds, sponsorship bonuses depending on progression and certainly broadcasting & prize money but one very interesting development that affects the Spanish clubs on the list is that fact that the dynamic of TV rights deals in Spain will be changing starting in 2014/15.

Clubs in Spain will no longer individually negotiate TV contracts.  They’ll follow the rest of Europe in a distribution model.  Whether Real Madrid’s “decima” in the Champions League is achieved this year or not, the timing of the domestic TV negotiation changes should allow for the club to top Money League for a 10th year and more than likely a couple years after but madridistas should keep an eye over their shoulder as TV revenue could prove to lessen the gap between the rest of the Money League.

Redevelopments at the Bernabeu and Barcelona putting forward a referendum proposing a new Camp Nou on the current Camp Nou’s site looks to ensure that matchday, arguably the least discussed revenue source of the three continues to be a significant focus of the two Spanish clubs while Italian clubs not owning their Stadiums does appear to be hurting growth on the peninsula.

Despite the Premier League’s modest slide in the rankings, next year’s massive 3 year/£3 billion deal should serve to significantly boost their fortunes (with all the alliteration, I couldn’t resist the pun) though Ajax, Benfica, and Corinthians along with their Turkish top 20 counterparts prove that smaller market teams can be competitive on and off the pitch.

There is still so much information discussed in the report as well as individual breakdowns of each club in the top 20, it is most certainly worth the read.

Reporting on the business side of the world's game.