Real Madrid first club to break €500m barrier
Real Madrid is the first sports club to make more than €500 million ($A632 million) in annual revenue, according to accountant Deloitte LLP.
Real, a record nine-time Champions League winner, topped the ranking for the richest soccer team by revenue for the eighth year, Deloitte said in its 16th annual "Money League" report of the sport's highest-earning clubs. Sales to June 2012 rose 7 per cent to €512.6 million. Real's eight years at the top of the ranking matches Manchester United's run, which began with the initial list in 1996-97.
Real's revenue is "an impressive achievement," Dan Jones, a partner in Deloitte's Sports Business Group, said. The team has "led the way in the phenomenal rate of revenue growth achieved by the game's top clubs".
Soccer's top teams are getting even richer, with the combined revenue of the world's 20 top earners rising 10 per cent to €4.8 billion, Deloitte said. Combined sales of those clubs, which generate a quarter of total revenue of the European soccer market, has quadrupled since Deloitte started its survey. The top 20 may earn as much as €5 billion next year, Deloitte said.
Just like in the previous five years, Real is followed by Spanish rival Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Arsenal. English Premier League teams now occupy half of the top 10 places, with Liverpool in ninth spot.
Real Madrid and Barcelona top the ranking partly because Spanish clubs negotiate their own television rights deals, unlike teams in the Premier League.
"An unchanged top six emphasises the fact that these clubs have some of the largest fan bases and hence strongest revenues, in both domestic and international markets," Mr Jones said.
Manchester City jumped five spots to seventh position with a 51 per cent increase to €285.6 million after winning its first Premier League title.
City's revenue gain was "the largest absolute and relative growth of any Money League club," said Austin Houlihan, senior manager at Deloitte's Sports Business Group. City is expected to remain in the top 10 for the foreseeable future, and may leapfrog Arsenal and Chelsea for a top five ranking, he added.
Chelsea, the European champion, is expected to drop from fifth position next year because of an early exit in European competition this season, Deloitte said. Despite early departures from the FA Cup and the Champions League last season, Manchester United continues to benefit from its commercial operations, Deloitte said.
"Manchester United continue to successfully leverage their global brand," Mr Houlihan said. A seven-year shirt deal with General Motors as well as new Premier League broadcast deals from 2013-14 may help United move into the top two of the Deloitte ranking.