They are no longer kings of their own division and now Manchester United’s 23-year financial dominance could soon be at an end, too.
In terms of revenue generated, the 20 times English champions are still top of Deloitte’s Football Money League, but their place at the top could come under threat from Manchester City or Liverpool in next year’s table.
Barcelona, meanwhile, are way out in front in the money stakes.
United’s earnings of £627.1million for the 2018/19 season puts them third overall in the table, behind the Spanish giants’ £741.1m and Real Madrid’s £667.5m.
Their closest Premier League rivals are City and Liverpool in sixth and seventh respectively, with the Blues just £88.9m behind.
United, who have been the highest-ranked English club since Deloitte first compiled the Money League survey based on the 1996/97 financial results, are forecasting reduced revenues of between £560-580m for 2019/20. The club face the prospect of a second consecutive season without Champions League broadcast revenue.
Money from broadcast deals is the most significant to clubs, comprising 44 per cent of total revenue.
The next Money League will be out in 2021, which will cover the present season where Liverpool are on course to win the Premier League and both them and Manchester City have a real chance at Champions League glory.
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Liverpool have reached the last two Champions League finals and are on course to make it three in a row, while also winning a first league title since 1990
The top 10
- Barcelona £741.1m (£611.6m in 2017/18)
2. Real Madrid £667.5m (£665.2m)
3. Manchester United £627.1m (£589.8m)
4. Bayern Munich £581.8m (£557.4m)
5. Paris St-Germain £560.5m (£479.9m)
6. Manchester City £538.2m (£503.5m)
7. Liverpool £533m (£455.1m)
8. Tottenham £459.3m (£379.4m)
9. Chelsea £452.2m (£448m)
10. Juventus £405.2m (£349.5m)
“It is definitely a possibility that United will lose that place, Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said. “Depending on where they are in that range of projected revenue (£560m-580m), and if City and Liverpool do well in the Champions League, it could be very, very close.
“If you think about where we were 10 years ago, the idea that City would overhaul United in financial terms would have seemed far-fetched.”
Deloitte recorded United’s revenue in 2008/09 as £278.5m, with City almost £200m behind them on £87m. Back then, United were also nearly £100m ahead of Liverpool.
Tottenham have achieved their highest-ever position in the table of eighth with revenue of £459.3m, and are the top-ranked London club for the first time since the very first Money League.
Their north London rivals Arsenal suffered from a second consecutive season without Champions League football, falling from ninth to 11th.
Chelsea, who announced an after-tax loss of £96m for 2018/19 on New Year’s Eve, are ninth in the table, while the other Premier League representatives are West Ham and Everton in 18th and 19th respectively.
Barcelona dwarf Real
Deloitte said a ‘primary factor’ behind the club’s earning power was their decision to bring merchandising and licensing activities in-house.
Jones added: “Barca are a clear example of a club adapting to changing market conditions, reducing the reliance on broadcast revenue and focusing on growing revenues within its control.
“The club’s commercial operation generated €383.5m (£326.6m) of revenue, which is more than the total revenue of the 12th-placed club in this year’s Money League.
“With the club expecting further growth of €30m (£25.5m) in commercial revenues and total revenue of almost €880m (£749.5m) in 2019/20, we expect them to retain the top spot in next year’s edition.”
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