As the European soccer season gets underway in August, the best teams in the world will not only be competing for the accolades that come with trophy success, but also for the financial rewards it brings.
As champions of Europe, Barcelona are the undisputed kings of the pitch, but rivals Real Madrid topped Deloitte's annual 'Money League' for the sixth year running.
Deloitte compares income from broadcasting, ticket sales and commercial deals and this latest list covers revenues for the 2009/2010 season, with all in the top six maintaining their position for a second successive year.
The combined income of the twenty highest earning clubs passed the 4 billion euro mark ($5.75 billion) for the first time in 2010, an 8 percent increase on the season before, showing that so-called 'beautiful game' is also the most lucrative.
So which teams made the top ten and is Manchester United really the most valuable sports franchise in the world? Click ahead to find out.
Posted 18 Aug 2011
2010 Revenue: 109.4 million euros ($158.1 million)
2009 Revenue: 99.0 million euros ($143 million)
The team from England's second largest city Birmingham have never won the Premier League, but "Villa"has a rich history as one of England's most successful teams, winning the European Cup (known now as the Champions League) in 1982, they remain one of only four English clubs to have done so.
Villa's last domestic cup success came in 1996, but the claret and blue side counts Prince William and Prime Minister David Cameron among its supporters.
The Birmingham club also has a strong sense of social responsibility, foregoing lucrative corporate sponsorship on their jerseys in 2009/10, they chose instead to donate the front of their shirts to the Acorns Child Hospice, and players regularly visit sick children there.
The charity partnership meant that the club's commercial revenue of 16 million euros ($23 million) was comparatively low, but from 2010/11 Villa began a three year deal with FX Pro.
Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner took over ownership of Aston Villa in August 2006 and the Villa Park stadium achieves an average league attendance of 38,600, around 90 percent of capacity.
Broadcast revenue accounted for 58 percent of Villa's overall income in 2010, but the team will struggle to remain in the top twenty without European success.
2010 Revenue: 114.8 million euros ($165.2 million)
2009 Revenue: 99.8 million euros ($144 million)
Stuttgart achieved record revenues in 2009/10, helped by an appearance in the Champions League, where they came unstuck against all conquering Barcelona.
The 15 million euro ($21.6 million) boost in income amounted to 15 percent on the previous year and broadcast revenues made up 42 percent of overall income.
Although Stuttgart is the fourth Bundesliga team to make the list, the other three derive a greater amount of income from commercial revenue than this southern German team. Therefore, qualification to the elite Champions League is crucial for Stuttgart to remain competitive in the revenue stakes.
Long term deals with German sports brand Puma and car maker Mercedes Benz - who have naming rights on Stuttgart's home ground - make up the bulk of Stuttgart's 36.8 million euro ($53.2 million) commercial income. From 2010/2011, food brand Gazi became the club's main shirt sponsor in a 5.5 million euro ($7.9 million) two-year deal.
No Champions League soccer in 2010/2011 means Stuttgart is likely to fall out of the top twenty next year and a disappointing 12th place finish in 2011 will ensure there is no elite European competition at the Mercedes Benz area for the second season running.
2010 Revenue: 122.7 million euros ($177 million)
2009 Revenue: 146.4 million euros ($211 million)
Along with Juventus and Rome rivals Lazio, Roma is one of three teams listed on the Borsa Italiana, the Italian stock exchange and in 2008 George Soros was confirmed by the club's CEO, Rosella Sensi, to be bidding for a takeover.
The Soros buyout was successfully rejected by the Sensi family, who hold 67.1 percent of the club's shares.
The Giallorossi (the yellow-reds) derive most of their income from broadcast revenue, earning the club 65.6 million euros ($95 million) in 2010. Europa League soccer earned Roma 2.2 million euros ($3.2 million), but failure to qualify for the more prestigious Champions League lost the team 21.3 million euros ($31 million) in broadcasting revenue.
With average attendances of 40,925 Roma has one of the lowest matchday totals in the top 20 with just $27 million coming in from ticket sales. Commercial deals with telecommunications company Wind who will appear on clubs shirts until 2012/13 and a kit supply deal with Basic Italia to 2016/2017 will bring $7.9 million and $9.8 million respectively.
AS Roma's most celebrated player is current team captain Francesco Totti, whose mother refused a lucrative deal with AC Milan early in his career in order to keep Totti in his home town. The Italian international has spent his entire career at Roma and is the club's highest ever goal scorer.
2010 Revenue: 124.5 million euros ($179 million)
2009 Revenue: 105 million euros ($151 million)
Known as 'Los Indios' (The Indians) as opposed to 'Los Blancos' (The Whites) of Real Madrid, Atlético has spent most of its years in the shadow of the team that tops this list.
While Real won numerous domestic and European honors, Atlético celebrated their first major trophy in 14 years in the UEFA Europa League final in 2010. The win ended a 48-year period during which the club failed to win a single European trophy and Atlético went on to defeat 2010 Champions League winners Internazionale in the Super Cup final in August 2010.
Like Barcelona and Real Madrid, broadcasting revenue accounts for the majority of Atlético's income, making up 50 percent or 62.2 million euros ($90 million).
European success and their own domestic broadcasting rights deal with Telemadrid boosted revenue in 2010, but failure to qualify for the Champions League and an early exit from the Europa League in 2011 means it is unlikely that Atlético will surpass their 2010 income.
The club plans to move to a 70,000 capacity stadium in 2013, which formed part of Madrid's unsuccessful bid for the 2016 Olympic Games. Commercial revenue is bolstered by sponsorship deals with kit supplier Nike and South Korean car manufacturer Kia.
AXN, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment has a minor sponsorship on the team shorts and Japanese firm Kyocera appears on the back of Atlético jerseys.
2010 Revenue: 139.8 million euros ($201.1 million)
2009 Revenue: 124.5 million euros ($179.2 million)
Like Hamburg, Schalke is the soccer team of a larger sports club with 100,000 members in Gelsenkirchen in northern Germany. The Schalke club boasts a basketball team and handball team as well as track and field squads.
The club's heyday came during the 1930s and 40s when it won six league championships, but Schalke is today one of the most consistent teams in the German Bundesliga, finishing second four times in the 2000s.
Schalke's main source of income is commercial, making up 57 percent of overall revenue. The club has a partnership with sports rights agency Infront Germany until the end of 2017/2018, covering advertising within their home ground, the Veltins Arena, as well as marketing the stadium for a variety of sporting and entertainment events.
Together with a deal with jersey sponsors Gazprom and team kit providers Adidas, Schalke managed to achieve commercial revenues of 79 million euros ($114 million) in 2010.
2010 Revenue: 141.1 million euros ($203 million)
2009 Revenue: 133.2 million euros ($192 million)
Olympique de Marseille (OM) is the most supported club in Ligue 1, with an average attendance of 52,276 per home game, and its supporters are said to be the most passionate in French football.
However, OM only managed to generate matchday income of 1 million euros ($1.43 million) per match from 25 games played on their home ground, which accounted for a lowly 18 percent of overall revenue in 2010, one percentage point higher than French rivals Lyon.
Olympique Marseille remains the first and only French club to win the coveted European Champions League trophy in 1993/94. Marseille's most recent trophy success came in 2009/10 when they managed to end Lyon's domestic dominance by winning the French Ligue 1 title for the ninth time in their history.
In 2011, a second place finish in the French league guaranteed Marseilles a Champions League place in 2011/12, which will enhance the club's revenues and keep them in the rich list for another year.
2010 Revenue: 146.1 million euros ($210 million)
2009 Revenue: 139.6 million euros ($201.5 million)
Traditionally France's Ligue 1 has not enjoyed the same reputation as the English, Spanish and Italian leagues and many of the best French players ply their trade elsewhere in Europe.
Nevertheless, Olympique Lyonnais reached the semi finals of the Champions League in 2009/10 for the first time in their history, putting them firmly on the map in terms of on-pitch performance and revenue.
The Champions League performance added 29.1 million euros ($42 million) to the club's coffers, 5.5 million more than in the previous season and accounted for 20 percent of Lyon's revenue, the majority of which comes from broadcasting which makes up 54 percent of the club's total revenues.
Commercial revenue fell by 6.2 million euros ($9 million) in 2010 due in part to new regulatory restrictions preventing online gaming company BetClic from sponsoring the Lyon team shirts. Merchandising revenue is likely to pick up this season due to agreement with kit manufacturer Adidas which is set to bring in 80-100 million euros ($115-$144 million) over the next decade.
Plans are currently in place for Lyon to move to a 60,000 capacity stadium in 2013 which should boost matchday revenue, which currently accounts for just 17 percent of overall income.
2010 Revenue: 146.2 million euros ($210.4 million)
2009 Revenue: 146.7 million euros ($211.1 million)
Known as the 'dinosaur' of the German Bundesliga, Hamburg is one of the oldest and most successful teams in German soccer and the second German club in the income rich list.
Hamburg fell behind English teams Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in 2010 with revenues broadly remaining flat, while the English Premier League teams saw a surge in revenue in 2009.
Commercial revenue remains Hamburg's biggest income source, contributing 63.2 million euros ($91 million) or 43 percent of total revenues, almost completely offsetting losses of 11 percent and 5 percent to matchday and broadcasting revenues respectively.
Commercial income was boosted by an extension of its shirt sponsorship deal with Emirates airlines, worth an estimated 7 million euros ($10 million) per season, and a stadium naming deal with technology firm Intech.
In recent seasons Hamburg has struggled to finish in the top three in the German league, but it enjoys the record of the only German Bundesliga club to never fall out of the top division since the league was created in 1963 and their 36 game unbeaten record during the 1982/83 season still stands as the most successful run in German soccer club history.
2010 Revenue: 146.3 million euros ($210.7 million)
2009 Revenue: 132.7 million euros ($191.2 million)
Tottenham Hotspur has enjoyed a revival in recent seasons under celebrated English manager Harry Redknapp.
Once one of the most successful English soccer clubs, they fell out of favour in the 2000s and a succession of floundering managers meant the team wallowed in the bottom half of the English Premier League.
In 2009/2010, Spurs recorded their highest ever Premier league finish, ending the season in fourth place (behind bitter rivals Arsenal) and securing a coveted place in the European Cup competition, the Champions League, where they beat reigning champions Internazionale in the early rounds.
Tottenham has managed to attract a number of world class players to its line-up, including Dutch World Cup finalist Rafael van der Vaart, and a rich history of trophy success followed by a decade of relative failure means Spurs fans expect silverware in coming seasons.
Broadcast income increased by 15 percent in 2010 to 62.9 million euros ($91 million) thanks to their high league finish and commercial revenue was up 10 percent to 38.5 million euros ($55 million).
Tottenham Hotspur's matchday revenue was constrained by limited capacity at their White Hart Lane ground which can hold just 36,240 spectators.
A bid by the club for London's 2012 Olympic stadium was rejected in favour of lowly East London club West Ham, but Tottenham fans were largely unsupportive of a move to East London and would prefer to increase capacity at their current ground.
2010 Revenue: 152.8 million euros ($220.3 million)
2009 Revenue: 102.2 million euros ($147.3 million)
"City", as they are locally known, spent decades in the shadow of their more successful neighbors Manchester United, but the blue side of Manchester has moved up the money league nine places from 20th to 11th in the last year.
Under new owners the Abu Dhabi Investment Group, Manchester City have established themselves as one of the biggest spenders in the Premier League, and massive investment in the team has translated to on-pitch success.
In 2011 they won the domestic English cup competition, the FA Cup, and managed a top four finish for the first time since the Premier League was founded in 1992, ending the 2010/11 season in third place and securing a spot in Europe's elite club competition, the Champions League.
With a team boasting a number of world famous players, including Argentina's Carlos Tevez and Sergio Agüero, Man City could follow in the footsteps of Chelsea, who spent big to win trophies.
Commercial revenue more than doubled in 2010 to 57 million euros ($82 million), accounting for 37 percent of the club's overall revenue, it was a major driver of overall revenue growth.
The 2009/10 season marked the first year of improved shirt sponsorship deals with Nike-owned Umbro and Etihad Airways, and the club has put a lot of effort into expanding its commercial partnership portfolio with a number of firms in the Middle East. Additional deals with Jaguar and Heineken are also likely to boost the club's financial fortunes in 2011/12.
2010 Revenue: 205 million euros ($295.8 million)
2009 Revenue: 203.2 million euros ($293.2 million)
The most successful team in the history of Italian club soccer were once the wealthiest, but in recent years, "Juve" has fallen behind Inter and AC Milan.
Flat revenues in 2009/10 meant Juventus tumbled down the money league by two places to tenth, but a seventh place Serie A league finish in 2010/2011 means the Turin team will miss out on a revenue boost from the Champions League, and are set to drop out of the top ten in next year's money list.
In addition to not competing in the European Cup, Juventus will lose its $144 million deal with broadcaster Mediaset as Serie A broadcasting rights are distributed more equally between clubs from 2011.
Commercial revenue accounted for 55.6 million euros ($80 million) or 27 percent of Juventus' 2010 revenue, enjoying a slight increase of 1.3 million euros ($1.9 million) on the previous year. The club holds a joint shirt sponsorship deal. Online betting firm BetClic's logo is displayed on home shirts, while confectioner Balocco sponsors the away jerseys.
Nike makes the Juventus kits in a deal, thought to bring the club $18 million per season. The BetClic deal which runs until 2011/2012 is reportedly worth at least $22 million euros.
2010 Revenue: 224.8 million euros ($324.4 million)
2009 Revenue: 196.5 million euros ($283.5 million)
Reigning club world champions Inter won an unprecedented 'treble' in 2010, including the Italian league championship, Copa Italia and the European Champions League.
Unprecedented recent success marks a departure from disappointing form in the 1990s when bitter rivals AC Milan were the dominant soccer team in the northern Italian city.
Putting a lackluster decade behind them, Inter launched a magnificent comeback in 2004, winning the Italian league with a near unbeaten record and establishing themselves as one of the best clubs in Italy during the 2000s, culminating in European Cup success in 2010 under the leadership of coach Jose Mourinho, now at Real Madrid.
The biggest revenue stream for Inter Milan in 2010 was broadcasting, which accounted for 62 percent ($199 million) of total revenue. This was boosted considerably by European Champions League success which earned the club $70 million, compared to $41 million in 2008/09.
Kit sponsors Nike and tire giant Pirelli contributed to the club's commercial revenue, which accounted for 21 percent of overall income in 2010. However, Inter, like Italian rivals AC Milan and Juventus, are likely to see a drop in broadcasting revenue as new rules on TV rights into force in Serie A.
2010 Revenue: 225.3 million euros ($325.1 million)
2009 Revenue: 217 million euros ($313.9 million)
Liverpool slipped down the soccer money league by one place in 2010/2011 in the same season rivals Manchester United won their 19th domestic league trophy to beat Liverpool's long-standing record of 18 league wins.
Liverpool was the most feared English club in the late 1970s and 1980s, both on and off the pitch. In 1985 Liverpool fans were blamed for the death of 39 Juventus supporters at the Heysel Stadium in Belgium after cornering the Italian supporters and causing a wall to collapse. English clubs were subsequently banned from all European tournaments for five years which some argue had an impact on the European records of English teams.
Liverpool remains the most successful English club in Europe with five European Cup (Champions League) wins, the most recent of which came in 2005.
Like Manchester United, Liverpool is under American ownership. Bought by New England Sports Ventures in 2010, the sports investment firm now known as Fenway Sports Group, also owns the Boston Red Sox.
The new owners promised to "take stock" of the situation at Liverpool on acquiring the club, but a relative dearth of success in recent years will mean they are under pressure to bring silverware to one of the world's best-known teams.
2010 Revenue: 235.8 million euros ($341 million)
2009 Revenue: 196.5 million euros ($284 million)
Originally founded as a cricket club by Englishmen Herbert Kilpin and Alfred Edwards in 1899, AC Milan is currently owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who bought the club he supported as a boy in 1986.
Despite Berlusconi's personal wealth, Milan's supporters have traditionally come from the city's working class, many of whom were members of trade unions and had migrated to the northern Italian city from the poorer south.
AC Milan's biggest rivals are Internazionale or "Inter Milan" and the teams share the imposing San Siro stadium as their home ground, with a capacity of 80,074. AC Milan has won the Italian league title (Scudetti) 18 times, in joint second place with Inter, behind Turin-based Juventus.
Following the Berlusconi takeover, Milan became one of the most dominant teams in Europe, winning the European Champions League trophy five times between 1989 and 2007 and accumulating seven domestic league titles in the same period.
Sixty percent of AC Milan's 2009/2010 revenue came from broadcasting, which accounts for 60 percent of income - by far the largest source of cash for the club - but the introduction of collective selling of broadcasting rights from 2010/2011 means the proportion of revenue from this source is likely to fall.
2010 Revenue: 255.9 million euros ($361.7 million)
2009 Revenue: 242.3 million euros ($345.5 million)
Owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, West London club Chelsea has enjoyed its most successful period in history, winning the English Premier League in 2005, 2006 and 2010 as part of a league and domestic cup 'double'.
One of the biggest spenders in the soccer world, Spaniard Fernando Torres cost the club $81 million in January 2011, but the World Cup winner has so far failed to make an impact.
Critics have accused Chelsea of 'buying' success since the Abramovich takeover in 2003 and the Russian oligarch has a habit of firing coaches he believes fall short in the trophy stakes. The latest manager for the chop was Italian Carlo Ancelotti who went at the end of the 2010/11 season despite managing to win the "double" in his first year in charge.
Ancelotti has been replaced by one of soccer's most promising young coaches, Andres Villas Boas, who must be aware that anything less than European Champions League success will be considered a failure by the Chelsea owner and is likely to cost him his job.
The bulk of Chelsea's revenue in 2009/10 came from broadcasting which accounted for 41 percent of total income, but relatively limited capacity at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge ground compared to Arsenal's Emirates Stadium and Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, means Chelsea will struggle to break into the rich list top five.
2010 Revenue: 274.1 million euros ($359.4 million)
2009 Revenue: 263.0 million euros ($358.8 million)
Historically London’s most successful soccer club, Arsenal have not managed to win a trophy of any kind since 2004, but they remain the second richest team in England in terms of income, ahead of London rivals Chelsea.
Although revenues remained flat overall in 2009/2010, the club earned an extra 192 million euros ($277.5 million) from property development around their current stadium and on the grounds of their old one, and attendances at the Emirates stadium averaged 59,765 per home game, accounting for 42 percent of overall revenue.
The Arsenal home ground is currently named after its sponsors, Dubai-based Emirates airlines, under a long term deal worth to be around 110 million euros ($159 million) which includes kit sponsorship running to 2013/14.
Although Arsenal lags behind its European rivals in commercial revenue - due in part to being locked in to long term deals with Nike and Emirates airlines - the club signed new secondary contracts with energy drink brand Lucozade and Thomson travel in 2010.
However, on-pitch success is crucial to boost revenues, and the club needs to maintain its reputation as one of the best teams in Europe. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been notoriously inactive in the transfer market and with rising season ticket costs, fans are increasingly frustrated over an extended period of relative failure for the Gunners. The sale of captain Cesc Fabregas to his boyhood team Barcelona in August 2011 will do nothing to allay concerns that Arsenal will fall further behind teams Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City in coming seasons.
2010 Revenue: 323.0 million euros ($455.7 million)
2009 Revenue: 289.5 million euros ($408.5 million)
By far Germany's most successful club, Bayern Munich have won a total of 22 league titles, 15 domestic cups and four European (Champions League) cups since they were founded in 1900.
The club's most successful period came under the captaincy of German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer in the 1970s when they won the European Cup three times in 1974, '75 and '76. Their most recent European success came in 2001, but Bayern have continued to dominate German soccer in the twenty-first century, winning six of the last ten league titles.
The lion's share of Bayern Munich's income comes from commercial deals worth 179.2 million euros ($256.2 million), accounting for 53 percent of overall revenue - the highest of any club featured in this list.
T-Mobile's parent company Deutsche Telekom holds the main shirt rights and Bayern Munich's kit is manufactured by Adidas, which also owns a 6.5 percent share in the club. Other premium sponsors include Audi, Coca Cola, Lufthansa, Nikon, Siemens and Sony Ericsson.
Home games are played that the 69,000 state-of-the-art Allianz Arena, which Bayern shares with the much less successful TSV 1860 München, who play in the German second division.
The current squad continues a tradition of having a number of the German national team's star players, including captain Philipp Lahm, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and forward Thomas Müller, all of whom were crucial in Germany's successful run in the 2010 World Cup.
2010 Revenue: 349.8 million euros ($493.8 million)
2009 Revenue: 327.0 million euros ($461.6 million)
"Man U" is the most valuable sports franchise in the world, according to Forbes which estimates it to be worth $1.8 billion – ahead of the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees. Like the Yankees, Manchester United has been very successful at exporting their brand, particularly to Asia, where the team enjoys unrivalled support.
Despite their value, Manchester United has been hit by rising debt levels since it was taken over by Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer in 2005, and the club is now rumored to be preparing an initial public offering in Singapore to raise capital.
The Glazer family took on debt of between $430-$450 million - secured against the club's assets - to buy Manchester United for $1.45 billion: the highest amount ever paid for a sports franchise.
Since the takeover, fans have launched a campaign to get the Glazer family out, even resorting to wearing green and gold at Manchester United games - a nod to the club's original team colors - in protest against the current owners.
Broadcast income accounted for 37 percent Man United's overall revenue in 2009/10, boosted by new Champions League contracts and commercial revenue climbed 16 percent thanks to new deals with Turkish Airlines, Betfair and several telecommunications firms.
Man United lost the European Champions League final to Barcelona in 2011, but managed to win a record nineteenth Premier League trophy. With a star line-up including the Brazilian forward Nani, England international Wayne Rooney and the Mexican Javier Hernandez, they are tipped to win a twentieth this season.
2010 Revenue: 398.1 million euros ($575 million)
2009 Revenue: 365.9 million euros ($528.3 million)
The success of the current Barcelona team has led many commentators hail them as the greatest in the history of club soccer. Winners of Spain's La Liga and European champions in 2010/2011, they dispatched Manchester United with ease in the final, comfortably winning 3-1.
A large proportion of Barça's revenue is spent on wages, which are the highest on average of any club in the world, ahead of fierce rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona has famously refused to carry corporate sponsorship on their players' shirts, but in 2006 the club announced a five year deal with UNICEF where Barça would donate 1.5 million per year to the United Nations children's find. In 2011-2012, the club will end its refusal of corporate sponsorship after agreeing a five-year 150 million euro ($214 million) deal with the Qatar Foundation.
Founded by a group of English, Swiss and Spanish players in 1899, Barcelona is referred to by Catalonians as 'Mes Que Un Club' ('More Than a Club'). Under Franco's fascist regime – when regional languages and identities were suppressed in Spain – supporting Barcelona enabled the Catalan people to express their dissidence.
Barcelona was the first team in history to win all six of the competitions it played in in 2009; including the Champions League, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, La Liga, Copa del Rey and the FIFA Club World Cup, thanks to star players like Lionel Messi, captain Carlos Puyol and Spanish World Cup winners Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta.
2010 Revenue: 438.6 million euros ($625.8 million)
2009 Revenue: 401.4 million euros ($572.8 million)
Despite playing second fiddle to arch-rivals Barcelona in recent years, the most successful soccer team in history holds on to its title as the richest.
Broadcasting revenues of 158.7 million euros ($227 million) made up 34 percent of Real's 2010 revenue of 438.6 million euros ($626 million). Unlike the English Premier League where broadcasting revenue is divided among all clubs, Real and Barcelona hold their own lucrative TV deals. Real's contract with Mediapro guarantees the club more than 1.1 billion euros ($1.6 billion) up to 2013/2014.
The team coffers were also boosted by an 8 percent increase in commercial revenue to 150.8 million ($215 million) in the 2010 season, making Real Madrid and Barcelona the only two clubs to surpass the 150 million euro ($214 million) mark from this source. The team's shirt sponsor Bwin is believed to generate 15-20 million euros ($21-28 million) per season and other sponsors willing to pay large sums to be associated with the side include Adidas, who make the famous white kits, Audi and Coca Cola.
English soccer superstar David Beckham played for Real before joining LA Galaxy, and their current line-up boasts $131 million signing Ronaldo, Spanish World Cup winners Iker Casillas and Xabi Alonso and German Wunderkind Mesut Özil.