Deloitte Football Money League 2011: A Financial “El Clasico”

Hi everyone,
The combined revenues of the world’s 20 highest earning football clubs have surpassed €4 billion for the first time, according to the latest Football Money League from Deloitte, the business advisory firm. They generated a total of €4.3 billion in revenue, up 8% on the previous year.

For the sixth consecutive year, Real Madrid claims top spot as the world’s largest football club according to this measure. Real is now just two years short of matching Manchester United’s eight year reign from 1996/97, the first edition of the Money League, through to 2003/04.

FC Barcelona retains second place ahead of Manchester United, making it a Spanish one-two for the second successive year.

Analysis in the Deloitte Football Money League covers the 2009/10 season and is the most contemporary and reliable analysis of clubs’ relative financial performance.

Dan Jones, Partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, commented: “All bar three of the top 20 clubs achieved revenue growth during 2009/10 demonstrating the continued resilience of football’s top clubs as the full impact of the global economic downturn took hold.

The game’s top clubs have proved themselves well-placed to meet these economic challenges given their large and loyal supporter bases, ability to drive broadcast audiences, and continuing attraction to corporate partners.

“Despite its relatively modest on-pitch performance, by the club’s own high standards, Real held a €41m revenue advantage over Barcelona in 2009/10. However, Barca’s revenues should exceed €400m in the next edition of the Money League, only the second club – along with their Spanish rivals – in any sport to do so. The club has now entered into its first paid for multi-year shirtfront sponsorship deal, for a guaranteed minimum of €165m over the duration of the contract, a new world record. We expect the battle for top spot in the Money League to be between Spain’s two superclubs for the next few years at least.”

Whilst Spanish clubs claim the top two positions in the Money League, England retains the largest representation from any single country, with seven clubs. Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea all retained their previous years’ positions of third, fifth and sixth, respectively. Liverpool slipped one place to eighth.

Manchester City is the biggest climber in this year’s Money League, moving up nine places from 11th from 20th. After significant investment in the playing squad, the club finished fifth in the Premier League, its highest placing since the league began.

The club also recorded its highest ever revenues, with an increase of £38m (44%) to £125m (€153m), the largest absolute and relative growth of any Money League club this year. Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur are one place behind Manchester City, and having qualified for the UEFA Champions League in 2010/11 for the first time, will also challenge Liverpool for the mantle of the fourth highest earning English club and a top 10 position overall in the Money League.

Aston Villa returns to the top 20 after a five year absence following Wembley appearances in both domestic cup competitions in 2009/10.

All of this year’s top 20 clubs are from the ‘big five’ European leagues with England contributing seven, Germany and Italy four clubs each, Spain three clubs and France two.

Pos Club Ticket TV Rights Trade Total Revenue
1 Real Madrid
129.1 M € (30%) 158.7 M € (36%) 150.8 M € (34%) 438.6 M €
2 FC Barcelona
97.8 M € (25%) 178.1 M € (44%) 122.2 M € (31%) 398.1 M €
3 Manchester United
122.4 M € (35%) 104.8 M € (37%) 99.4 M € (28%) 349.8 M €
4 Bayern Munich 66.7 M € (21%) 83.4 M € (26%) 172.9 M € (53%) 323.0 M €
5 Arsenal
114.7 M € (42%) 105.7 M € (38%) 53.7 M € (20%) 274.1 M €
6 Chelsea
82.1 M € (32%) 105.0 M € (41%) 68.8 M € (27%) 255.9 M €
7 AC Milan
31.3 M € (13%) 141.1 M € (60%) 63.4 M € (27%) 235.8 M €
8 Liverpool
52.4 M € (23%) 97.1 M € (43%) 75.8 M € (34%) 225.3 M €
9 Internazionale
38.6 M € (17%) 137.9 M € (62%) 48.3 M € (21%) 224.8 M €
10 Juventus
16.9 M € (8%) 132.5 M € (65%) 55.6 M € (27%) 205.0 M €
11 Manchester City
29.8 M € (20%) 66.0 M € (43%) 57.0 M € (37%) 152.8 M €
12 Tottenham Hotspur
44.9 M € (31%) 62.9 M € (43%) 38.5 M € (26%) 146.3 M €
13 Hamburger SV
49.3 M € (34%) 33.7 M € (23%) 63.2 M € (43%) 146.2 M €
14 Olympique Lyonnais
24.8 M € (17%) 78.4 M € (54%) 42.9 M € (29%) 146.1 M €
15 Olympique Marseille
25.2 M € (18%) 70.8 M € (50%) 45.1 M € (32%) 141.1 M €
16 Schalke 04
25.4 M € (18%) 35.4 M € (25%) 79.0 M € (57%) 139.8 M €
17 Atletico Madrid
35.9 M € (29%) 62.2 M € (50%) 26.4 M € (21%) 124.5 M €
18 AS Roma
19.0 M € (16%) 65.6 M € (53%) 38.1 M € (31%) 122.7 M €
19 VfB Stuttgart
30.2 M € (26%) 47.8 M € (42%) 36.8 M € (32%) 114.8 M €
20 Aston Villa
29.8 M € (27%) 63.6 M € (58%) 16.0 M € (15%) 109.4 M €

(Amounts in € million)

These are the clubs that were outside the rankings, led to the reentry of Benfica, the only Portuguese team like this in the first 30.

  • 21. ACF Fiorentina (Ita) – 106.4 million Euros
  • 22. Borussia Dortmund (Ger) – 105.2 million Euros
  • 23. FC G. Bordeaux (Fra) – 102.8 million Euros
  • 24. FC Sevilla (Esp) – 99.6 million Euros
  • 25. Valencia (Esp) – 99.3 million Euros
  • 26. SL Benfica (Por) – 98.2 million euros (40.2 M € Ticket / 41%) (16.8 M € TV Rights / 17%) (41.2 M € Trade / 42%)
  • 27. Everton (Eng) – 96.6 million Euros
  • 28. Werder Bremen (Ger) – 96.5 million Euros
  • 29. SS Napoli (Ita) – 95.1 million Euros
  • 30. Fulham (Eng) – 94.2 million Euros

NOTES: Revenue excluding player transfers and taxes. Activities away from football and capital transactions have also been excluded from revenues and accounting for commercial reasons, due to the different ways of recording the same transaction.

[Source: Football-Marketing & Futebol Finance]

Karl Lusbec



3 thoughts on “Deloitte Football Money League 2011: A Financial “El Clasico”

  1. Hey Karl,
    to me this subject always raises questions because it is very dangerous to look at numbers without context and even more when there are caveats such as the one in the footnote. Here are a few points to explain/highlight my skepticism
    Ticket rev: ok, this is not a big issue here but I find it interesting to look at the number of tickets sold and the average price. For me it tells a lot more about the type of club it is. Obviously some clubs have bigger stadiums so can cram in more fans, but some just have loads of executive boxes with enormous price tags which ruin the atmosphere in the stadium if there are too many.

    Revenues that is it?: it always bugs me when people refer to revenues only. Sure it’s great to have the highest number here but what about costs? In football in particular, these can vary so much from club to club so it cane change the game (think debt repayment, salaries, and my goodness… transfer fees). Which brings me to my next point

    Caveats: I am ok with most of that footnote but why exclude the transfer fees? If instead of having a list of clubs with the highest revenues we were looking at profits would we not want to consider the cost of transfers in there? That doesn’t seem fair to clubs who work hard to develop players and who then get raided but big spenders.

    Anyway, obviously this list is really to see who the bling bling clubs are but I think it is time to start looking at other measures than just revenues or even profit for that matter. It’s not easy but how about also including at the “fan happiness” index or even the “player happiness” index?


  2. Hi Jeremy,
    Great points!
    As for tickets, I agree with you that some clubs have VIP boxes which have a knock on effect on ticket prices. This said, my take is Deloitte considered the average ticket price per stadium, as they do differ from where fans are positioned within the stadium. But, you have a point here. Tickets policy define the club’s philosophy.

    The revenues are always a topic where (I believe), in order to have the complete picture, we must have the complete PNL, which we don’t. The footnote here points out the difficulty to include some parameters (player transfer fee, capital transaction) as from a financial standpoint differ in the final count. There is a very big grey zone here where all clubs do not play in the same league. For instance, ManUtd is ranked 4th when at the same time have huge amount of debts. Will the UEFA Financial Fair Play give us a clearer picture? I do hope so!

    Although the caveats and grey zones, I believe this ranking reflects pretty much the reality of football clubs’ wealth, but obviously, we marketers definitely need a clearer picture.

    Thanks for your comments Jeremy!


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