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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 February 2008, 00:00 GMT
Real top Man Utd in rich league
Real Madrid players David Beckham, left, and Fabio Cannavaro
David Beckham helped Real Madrid win the La Liga title in 2006/07
Manchester United have moved from fourth to second in the list of the world's richest clubs, as Real Madrid stayed top for the third straight year.

Deloitte's Football Money League, which is based on revenues generated during 2006/7, was headed by United for eight years until the Spaniards deposed them.

Chelsea are fourth in Deloitte's table, even though the Blues regularly make huge losses. Arsenal are fifth.

In all, there are seven British clubs in the top 20 positions.

Three of the four clubs that dropped out of the list were also British - Manchester City, Rangers, and West Ham United.

And, looking ahead to next year's report, the authors state that "2007/08 could see England providing half the Money League clubs".

Spanish champions

The list shows that the game's riches continue to be monopolised by the same group of clubs, with only one change in the top 10 from the previous season.

Juventus dropped out because they played in the second-tier of Italian football in 2006/07, their place in the top 10 going to Italian rivals Roma.

1) Real Madrid: 236.2m
2) Man Utd: 212.1m
3) Barcelona: 195.3m
4) Chelsea: 190.5m
5) Arsenal: 177.6m
6) AC Milan: 153m
7) Bayern Munich: 150.3m
8) Liverpool: 133.9m
9) Inter Milan: 131.3m
10) AS Roma: 106.1m
Source: Deloitte: 2006/7

Deloitte's figures take into account income from ticket sales, merchandising and broadcasting contracts but do not include transfer revenues and does not calculate profitability.

Between them, the collective revenue of the top 20 clubs - which are all European - grew by 11% to 2.5bn in 2006/07, the highest rate of growth since 2002/03.

Real Madrid retained its crown as the world's wealthiest club, in terms of sales, in a season when it clinched the Spanish championship under Fabio Capello, and with David Beckham in the team.

Its revenues rose to 236.2m from 202m the year before.

'Close the gap'

Manchester United moved into second place, leapfrogging Barcelona and Juventus, thanks to a season in which they won the Premier League and reached both the Champions League semi-final and FA Cup final.

Real saw a 20% increase to take their total revenue, though Manchester United's revenue grew even more quickly, up from 167.8m to 212m.

Manchester United celebrate winning the 2006/07 Premier League
Man Utd moved up to second from fourth in the Football Money League

Dan Jones, of Deloitte's sports business group, said: "With the new Premier League television deals now online for the 2007/08 season, Manchester United have the opportunity to significantly close the gap on Real.

"A successful Champions League run may even see them challenge again for the number one position."

Deloitte says the new TV money could help more English clubs into the top 20 in a year's time.

Meanwhile, Arsenal, helped by increased revenues at their new Emirates Stadium, jumped from ninth place to fifth, while Chelsea's move up to fourth spot means England are the first country to have three clubs in the top five.

The other British clubs to make it into the list were Liverpool (8), Tottenham Hotspur (11), Newcastle United (14), and Celtic (17).

Ticket increases

Harry Philp, director of sports finance and advisory firm Hermes Sports Partners, said: "The top seven or eight clubs tend to usually be the same, and generally drawn from the big English, Spanish and Italian clubs.

"Real Madrid will have been helped by the very lucrative TV deal that they have, and the fact that their stadium is pretty much sold out for every game.

"Manchester United have been helped by their success on the field but also by ticket price increases.

"They have also done a lot of renegotiation of much of its financial arrangements.

"Arsenal have clearly benefited from the move to the Emirates."

The top 10 wealthiest clubs by revenue, in descending order, are Real Madrid, Man Utd, Barcelona, Chelsea, Arsenal, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Inter Milan and AS Roma.

Success boosts Man Utd finances
11 Jan 08 |  Business
New stadium boosts Arsenal income
24 Sep 07 |  Business
TV deal 'fuels transfer spending'
03 Sep 07 |  Business
Man Utd drops down wealth league
08 Feb 07 |  Business


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