Currently two-thirds of the way through the 2011-2012 European soccer season, the best teams in the world will not only be competing for the prestige that comes with trophy success, but for the financial rewards it brings.
Europe’s most successful soccer teams are growing at a faster rate than the countries they represent, generating a total revenue of $5.8 billion last year, according to a new report by business advisory firm Deloitte.
During the 2010-2011 season, combined revenue for Deloitte’s "money league" clubs grew by 3 percent year-on-year, with nine of the clubs recording double-digit growth.
By comparison, the average growth rate for the European countries represented in the money league — Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the UK — was 1.3 percent in 2011, down from 1.7 percent the previous year.
Deloitte compares income from broadcasting, ticket sales and commercial deals, and this latest list covers revenue for the 2010-2011 season. For the fourth year running the top six clubs remained the same, with nine clubs in the top ten having maintained a position in the top half of the Money League for the last eight years.
Clubs achieving double-digit revenue growth included Barcelona, which grew by 13 percent to generate $644.1 million. It was trumped, however, by English club Tottenham Hotspur, which grew by 36 percent and beat Manchester City to grab 11th place in the league.
So which teams made the top ten? Click ahead to find out.
By Bianca Schlotterbeck
Posted 28 Feb 2012
Total Revenue for 2011: £153.2 million ($242 million)
League: Premier League
Under new owner the Abu Dhabi Investment Group, Manchester City has established itself as one of the biggest spenders in the Premier League, and massive investment in the team has translated to on-pitch success.
Manchester City achieved a 22 percent increase in revenue to £153.2m in 2010-2011 yet slipped one place in the Money League due to Schalke and Tottenham’s performances in the Champions League.
On the pitch, City enjoyed its most successful season of the modern era, ending a 35-year wait for a major trophy by winning the FA Cup, reaching the last 16 of the Europa League, and finishing third in the Premier League, thus qualifying for the Champions League.
Commercial revenue increased by £11.1 million and now represents 38 percent of total revenue, having tripled over the past two years. A batch of new sponsorship deals commenced in 2010-2011, including with Heineken and Jaguar, to expand the club’s portfolio, which already includes Etihad Airways, Umbro, Aabar, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and Etisalat.
The club has secured a groundbreaking new 10-year partnership with Etihad covering shirt sponsorship, stadium naming rights and other commercial opportunities, which will further substantially boost commercial revenue in 2011-2012.
Total Revenue for 2011: £163 million ($243 million)
League: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur has enjoyed a revival in recent seasons under celebrated English manager Harry Redknapp. Once one of the most successful English soccer clubs, it fell out of favor in the 2000s and a succession of floundering managers meant the team wallowed in the bottom half of the English Premier League.
The club has now leapfrogged Manchester City into 11th place in the Money League, just short of its highest-ever position. Spurs generated record revenue of £163.5 million, which represents a 36 percent increase from the 2009-2010 season. This is primarily due to the club’s inaugural participation in the UEFA Champions League where it reached the quarterfinals, which helped the club increase all three revenue streams.
Spurs now have planning consent for a new stadium and a significant regeneration project in Tottenham. A glance across North London to Arsenal leaves little doubt that increased match-day revenue opportunities arise from a modern stadium development. This, coupled with a continuation of its recent on-pitch form, could secure the team a Money League top ten position on a frequent basis.
Total Revenue for 2011: €202.4 million ($290 million)
Schalke is the biggest climber in this year’s Money League, with total revenue increasing by 45 percent to €202.4m. This was due to a Champions League campaign that saw the club reach the semifinals of the competition, beating holders Internazionale along the way. A disappointing 14th place finish in the Bundesliga was in some part offset by the Royal Blues’ success in lifting the German Cup, which will provide UEFA Europa League football in 2011-2012.
The club’s most successful European performance in their history saw them receive €39.8m in UEFA distributions, helping broadcast revenue more than double, from €35.4m to €74.3m. Failure to secure Champions League qualification for 2011-2012 will mean this spike in broadcast revenue, which contributed 37 percent of the club’s total, will not be repeated and Schalke will drop back out of the top ten in next year’s Money League.
Revenue for 2011: £183.6 million ($291 million)
League: The Premier League
Liverpool continues to slip down the Money League, dropping one place to ninth position, after the club experienced its first season without Champions League football since 2003-2004. It is the only top ten Money League club that did not compete in Europe’s top club competition in 2010-2011.
The club’s overall revenue fell slightly in sterling terms, although reductions in both match-day and broadcast revenue were almost completely offset by a 25 percent increase in commercial revenue to £77.4 million.
This was driven by a new four-year shirt sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered Bank, one of the largest in European football at a reported £20 million (€22 million) per season, and an estimated £12.5 million annual increase on the previous shirt deal with Carlsberg. This allowed Liverpool to strengthen its position as the second-highest-earning English club, behind Manchester United, from this source.
Revenue for 2011: €211.4 million ($303 million)
League: Serie A TIM
Internazionale leapfrogged Liverpool to claim eighth position in this year’s Money League. Despite winning the FIFA Club World Cup, the Coppa Italia and reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, Internazionale’s revenue declined by six percent to €211.4 million (£190.9 million).
This was largely as a result of broadcast revenue that fell by 10 percent to €124.4 million. Like AC Milan and Juventus, Inter suffered financially as a result of the introduction of collective selling arrangements for broadcast rights in Serie A. Inter finished runner-up to city rival AC Milan in Serie A and is also one place below it in the Money League.
Revenue for 2011: €235.1 million ($336 million)
League: Serie A TIM
Originally founded as a cricket club by Englishmen Herbert Kilpin and Alfred Edwards in 1899, AC Milan has been owned by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who supported the club as a boy, since 1986.
AC Milan is the leading Italian club in the Money League, sitting one place above city rivals Internazionale in seventh place, after achieving revenue of €235.1 million in 2010-2011. Milan won the Serie A title in 2010-2011 for the 18th time, the first since 2003-2004, and reached the Round of 16 in the Champions League for the second successive season, losing to Tottenham.
AC Milan has the lowest matchday revenue of any club in the Money League top ten. Compared with the clubs above them in the Money League, the Rossoneri, as they are called by fans, have less than half the matchday revenue of Chelsea and Bayern, and between €67 million and €88 million less than that of the other four clubs.
Revenue for 2011: £225.6 million ($358 million)
League: The Premier League
Owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, Chelsea is one of the biggest spenders in the soccer world, Spaniard Fernando Torres costing the club £50 million ($81 million) in January 2011. But the World Cup winner has so far failed to make an impact.
Chelsea remain in sixth position in the Money League with an 8 percent increase in revenue to £225.6 milion, closing the gap to fifth-placed Arsenal from £14.9 million to £1.2 million.
A disappointing season on the pitch, compared with the previous year, saw the Blues finish behind in the Premier League to Manchester United, who also defeated it in the Champions League quarterfinals.
FC Porto’s Europa League-winning coach André Villas-Boas has replaced Carlo Ancelotti as team manager for the 2011-2012 season.
Broadcast revenue accounted for almost all of Chelsea’s increase, with match-day and commercial revenue similar to the previous year.
Revenue for 2011: £226.8 million ($360 million)
League: Premier League
Historically London’s most successful soccer club, Arsenal has not managed to win a trophy of any kind since 2005, but it remains the second-richest team in England in terms of income, ahead of London rival Chelsea. It narrowly remains in fifth place in this year’s Money League after recording revenue of £226.8 million for 2010-2011.
Arsenal remains committed to a long-term vision of a self-sustainable football club built on solid foundations. If the Gunners, as they are commonly known, are to retain their position in the top five of the Money League, they will need to close the gap in commercial revenue with Europe’s other top clubs, while continuing to qualify for the Champions League.
Revenue for 2011: €321.4 million ($459 million)
Although still Germany's most successful club, with a total of 22 league titles, 15 domestic cups and four European (Champions League) cups since it was founded in 1900, a comparatively disappointing season on the pitch for Bayern Munich was mirrored by a slight decrease in total revenue from €323 million to €321.4 million in 2010-2011.
The club finished third in the Bundesliga and exited the Champions League at the first knockout round, as compared with a domestic double and Champions League final appearance in the previous season. This resulted in Bayern parting ways with manager Louis van Gaal, replacing him with Jupp Heynckes.
Despite a small drop in revenue, Bayern have maintained fourth position in the Money League, although the gap between the Bavarians and third-place Manchester United has increased.
Revenue for 2011: £331.4 million ($524 million)
League: Premier League
"Man U" is the most valuable sports franchise in the world, according to Forbes, which estimates it to be worth $1.86 billion — ahead of the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees. Like the Yankees, Manchester United has been very successful at exporting its brand, particularly to Asia where the team enjoys unrivalled support.
Manchester United’s continued success on the pitch contributed to 16 percent growth in revenue to £331.4 million in a domestic season that saw the club reach the final of the UEFA Champions League, become English champions for a record 19th time and reach the semifinals of the FA Cup. The increased revenue helped the club retain third place in the Money League behind the Spanish duopoly of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
A 27 percent increase in commercial revenue to £103.4 million was the largest contributor to the club’s revenue growth, driven by the four-year shirt sponsorship deal with Aon Corporation, reportedly worth £20 million per season, which began in June 2010. Other contributors to this growth in commercial revenue included contractual increases from the club’s alliance with Nike, and new commercial partnerships such as those with Telekom Malaysia and Turkish Airlines.
The club is continuing to use its global brand to attract commercial partners, with new agreements such as the four-year training kit sponsorship with DHL, reportedly worth £40 million, set to improve commercial revenue from 2011-2012. The partnership with DHL is a first for the club, which will see the company sponsor United’s training kit for all domestic matches.
Revenue for 2011: €450.7 million ($645 million)
League: La Liga
FC Barcelona’s recent on-pitch success continued in 2010-2011 as the club won the Champions League and La Liga, allowing it to remain in second place in the Money League for a third successive year. This was the second time in three years Barca has won the Champions League and the third consecutive season as La Liga champions. The club also finished runner-up in the Copa del Rey.
A 13 percent revenue increase across all three categories, totalling €52.6 million has resulted in Barca extending its lead over third-place Manchester United and closing the gap on leader Real Madrid.
Commercial revenue increased significantly from €122.2 million in 2009-2010 to a club record €156.3 million in 2010-2011, boosted by a €15 million contribution from the new shirt sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation.
Barcelona will benefit from a full season of the Qatar Foundation agreement, as well as prize money from winning the FIFA Club World Cup, during 2011-2012. If Barcelona can continue its on-pitch success both in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, this may allow them to further close the revenue gap on Real Madrid and to challenge it for the top position in the Money League.
Revenue for 2011: €479.5 million ($686 million)
League: La Liga
A nine percent increase in revenue to €479.5 million ($686 million) sees Real Madrid maintain its position at the top of the Money League for the seventh consecutive season.
Following the appointment of José Mourinho as manager, the club emerged victorious in the domestic competition, Copa del Rey, but again finished runner-up in the Spanish league, La Liga, to rival Barcelona, which also knocked Real out of the Champions League semifinals.
Real has enjoyed phenomenal growth, with annual revenue increasing by almost €200 million over the past five years and is closing in on revenue of €500 million.
Broadcast revenue increased by 16 percent to €183.5 million (£165.7 million) in 2010-2011. With the increase driven in large part by a return to form in the UEFA Champions League. Unlike the English Premier League where broadcasting revenue is divided among all clubs, Real and Barcelona hold their own lucrative TV deals. The majority of the club’s broadcast revenue is still generated from its broadcast rights contract with Mediapro which runs until 2013-2014.
The club hopes the arrival of the “Special One,” manager Jose Mourinho, and continued investment in playing staff translates into on-pitch domestic and European success that will keep it at the top of the Money League.