Page last updated at 00:06 GMT, Thursday, 12 February 2009

Real beat Man Utd in rich league

Real Madrid players celebrate after scoring Osasuna during the La Liga match
Real Madrid's revenue increased by 4% in 2007/08

Manchester United have come second in the list of the world's richest clubs, while Real Madrid stay top for the fourth year in a row.

Deloitte's Football Money League, based on financial information for the 2007/08 season, features seven English clubs in the top 20 positions.

The authors said that United would have been top of the Money League if the pound was still at June 2007 levels.

Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool are fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.

Exchange rate factor

"If the exchange rate value of the pound had not depreciated, there would have been nine, rather than seven English clubs in the top 20 and Manchester United would have topped the Money League ahead of Real Madrid," said Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.

WORLD'S WEALTHIEST CLUBS BY REVENUE
1) Real Madrid: 289.6m
2) Man Utd: 257.1m
3) Barcelona: 244.4m
4) Bayern Munich: 233.8m
5) Chelsea: 212.9m
6) Arsenal: 209.3m
7) Liverpool: 167m
8) AC Milan: 165.8m
9) AS Roma: 138.9m
10) Inter Milan: 136.9m
Source: Deloitte: 2007/8

United won the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League in 2008, posting a significant 21% pound-denominated revenue growth.

The list had been headed by Manchester United for eight years until Real Madrid deposed them.

"Whilst Real Madrid's 4% revenue growth in 2007/08 is more modest than recent years, the club has now doubled its revenues since 2002 and enjoys a lead of 41m euros [32.5m] over Manchester United," said Mr Jones.

"With the club having announced that it is budgeting for revenues of 400m euros in 2008/09, it will be difficult for rivals to replace Real at the top of the Money League next year."

European clubs

The other English clubs in the top 20 are Tottenham Hotspur (14th), Newcastle United (17th) and Manchester City (20th).

All the top 20 clubs represent Europe. Germany and Italy have four clubs each in the top 20, Spain and France have two clubs each.

Fenerbahce became the first Turkish club to enter the top 20 since the creation of the list of the world's richest clubs in 1996/97.

The unique nature of the football industry will enable major clubs to be relatively resistant to the economic downturn
Paul Rawnsley, Sports Business Group

Germany's Bayern Munich climbed three places to fourth, returning to the top five for the first time in five years.

"Despite not competing in the Champions League, revenues were boosted by the club acquiring 100% ownership of its home ground, the Allianz Arena," said Alan Switzer, director in the Sports Business Group.

Celtic, Valencia and Werder Bremen dropped out of the Money League, while Stuttgart and Manchester City climbed back.

The top 20 clubs' collective revenue rose by 6% to 3.9bn euros in 2007/08.

'Challenging environment'

The list's authors said that this year's Money League is based on figures available largely before the global economic downturn started.

"Whilst next year's Money League will show some early signs of how the changing economic environment is affecting the game's top clubs, it will not be until 2009/10 that there is a fuller picture of the impact," they said.

However, Paul Rawnsley, director in the Sports Business Group, said: "The unique nature of the football industry will enable major clubs to be relatively resistant to the economic downturn.

"Clubs' match attendances are holding up well and clubs in each of England, Germany, France and Spain have TV deals secured well into the future at enhanced levels.

"Despite the challenging economic environment, the Premier League has just secured a record value for live domestic broadcast rights for the seasons 2010/11 to 2012/13, up 4% to 1.782bn.

"Given the worldwide popularity of the Premier League there is likely to be further uplift in value from overseas rights when they are marketed later this year."

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