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Barcelona tops football's 'money league' - but Premier League still rules the roost

By Tom Walker    14 Jan 2020
Barcelona generated revenues of £741.1m during the 2018-19 season / Natursport/Shutterstock

Spanish champion Barcelona Football Club generated more money than any other club in Europe for the first time in history, overtaking its fierce rival Real Madrid.

The Catalan club has claimed top spot in the annual Deloitte Football Money League chart, which lists the top 20 revenue generating football teams in Europe.

Barcelona generated revenues of £741.1m during the 2018-19 season, with second place Real Madrid making £667.5m.

While the top two come from the Spanish La Liga, it is the English Premier League (EPL) which was again declared the richest league in Europe, with eight EPL clubs making it into the top 20 revenue generators.

Manchester United (with revenues of £627.1m) remains the highest earner among English clubs, with four other EPL clubs making it into Europe's top 10 – Manchester City (£538.2m), Liverpool (£533m), Tottenham (£459.3m) and Chelsea (£452.2m).

As for sources of income, broadcasting deals remain the largest individual revenue stream, comprising 44 per cent of total revenue of European clubs.

The ability to attract substantial commercial interest is a distinguishing factor between those at the top (i.e. those traditionally competing in the UEFA Champions League on a regular basis) and at the bottom of the Money League.

"Growth in the football industry continues to outpace that in other sectors, and the top 20 Money League clubs are on track to generate over €10 billion collectively in a single year in the near future," said Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.

"What is notable in this edition of the Money League is the apparent continuing emergence of ‘mini-leagues within the Money League’, as the largest revenue-generating clubs continue to pull away from the rest."

Jones added that Barcelona is expected to remain number one in next year's standings – and that the club is on course to achieve its stated ambition to be the first to generate revenue of over one billion euros in years to come.

“Barca is a clear example of a club adapting to changing market conditions, reducing the reliance on broadcast revenue and focussing on growing revenues within its control," Jones said.

"The club’s commercial operation generated €383.5m of revenue, which is more than the total revenue of the 12th placed club in this year’s Money League."

The Deloitte Football Money League is now in its 23rd year.

The full list of the Top 20 European revenue-generating clubs

1. Barcelona £741.1m

2. Real Madrid £667.5m3. Manchester United £627.1m

4. Bayern Munich £581.8m5. Paris St-Germain £560.5m

6. Manchester City £538.2m7. Liverpool £533m

8. Tottenham £459.3m9. Chelsea £452.2m

10. Juventus £405.2m11. Arsenal £392.7m

12. Borussia Dortmund £332.4m13. Atletico Madrid £324m

14. Inter Milan £321.3m15. Schalke £286.3m

16. Roma £203.6m17. Lyon £194.6m

18. West Ham £190.7m19. Everton £187.7m

20. Napoli £182.8m

Premier League  Barcelona  Manchester United  Manchester City  Liverpool  Tottenham  Chelsea  Real Madrid 
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