Spanish giants top 'rich list'
Real Madrid and Barcelona are football's highest earners as United fall to third.
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2010 12:18 GMT
Real's Ronaldo transferred from United in a record $132 million deal  [AFP]

Spanish rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona have topped a list of the highest earning football clubs in the world.

The teams took first and second ranking in the 'rich list' of clubs, an annual Deloitte Football Money League report, which ranks the 20 biggest clubs by revenue.

The Primera Division clubs outperformed the English Premier League champions Manchester United who slipped a place to third.

The overwhelming dominance of Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain is shown by the fact that no other Spanish sides occupy a top 20 place.

Madrid generated $567.3 million in the 12 months ending June 30 and topped the report for the fifth consecutive year.

European champions Barcelona were ranked second with a revenue of $517.2 million, moving up a place to return to the position they occupied two years ago.

United's success in retaining the domestic title and again reaching the Champions League final, would have seen them stay in second place in the rankings had the pound's value against the euro not dropped by 7 percent over the year.

Increased income

Despite nine clubs showing a decrease in revenue in local currency, the combined income of the top 20 clubs was up about $36.7 million from the previous year at $5.5 billion.

"We continue to assert that the game's top clubs are well-placed to meet the challenges presented by the difficult economic environment,'' said Dan Jones of Deloitte's sports business group.

"Their large and loyal supporter bases, ability to drive broadcast audiences and continuing attraction to corporate partners provide a strong base to underpin revenues.''

Real Madrid topped the table despite finishing runners-up in the Spanish league and failing to progress beyond the second round of the Champions League.

Top 20 list

1. Real Madrid Spain $567.3 million
2. Barcelona Spain $517.1
3. Man United England $462.1
4. Bayern Munich Germany $409.2
5. Arsenal England $371.1
6. Chelsea England $342.4
7. Liverpool England $306.7
8. Juventus Italy $287.2
9t. Inter Milan Italy $277.7
9t. AC Milan Italy $277.7
11. Hamburg Germany $207.3
12. AS Roma Italy $206.9
13. Lyon France $197.3
14. Marseille France $188.3
15. Tottenham England $187.5
16. Schalke Germany $176.0
17. W Bremen Germany $162.1
18. B Dortmnd Germany $146.3
19. Man City England $144.4
20. Newcastle England $142.7

Spanish clubs have the advantage of negotiating their own individual broadcast deals, while the Premier League have a collective deal which is shared much more equally among all 20 clubs.

Lucrative contract

Madrid's contract with Mediapro helped push up income from broadcast 18 percent to $227.3 million.

Manchester United generated $61.8 million less from broadcasting than Madrid despite receiving $25.6 million more from Champions League distributions.

United generated $462.2 million, including $180.5 million in match-day revenue.

The top 20 has not changed much from last year, with Werder Bremen and Manchester City replacing VfB Stuttgart and Turkish club Fenerbahce.

The list was again dominated by European clubs, with seven English clubs, four from Italy, and two each from France and Spain. The number of German clubs grew to five from four.

Boosted by income from a property development on the site of their former stadium, Arsenal moved up a spot to fifth behind Bayern Munich and swapped positions with Chelsea. 

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