Real Sets New Revenue Mark as City Rises on Money League

Real Madrid is the first sports club to make more than 500 million euros ($665 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 straight year, Deloitte said in its 16th annual “Money League” report of the sport’s highest-earning clubs. Sales through June 2012 rose 7 percent to 512.6 million euros. Real’s eight straight 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 percent to 4.8 billion euros, 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 euros 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.

Settled Top

“An unchanged top six emphasizes the fact that these clubs have some of the largest fan bases and hence strongest revenues, in both domestic and international markets,” Jones said in a statement.

Manchester City jumped five spots to seventh position with a 51 percent increase to 285.6 million euros 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 F.A. Cup and the Champions League last season, Manchester United continues to benefit from its commercial operations, Deloitte said.

Global Brand

“Manchester United continue to successfully leverage their global brand,” 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.

Newcastle United is a new entry, replacing Spanish club Valencia at no. 20. German champion Borussia Dortmund, in 11th place, and Italian side Napoli, No. 15, also moved up five spots to enter the top 20 for the first time.

Top 20 Clubs by 2011-12 revenue (millions of euros)
 1. Real Madrid               512.6
 2. Barcelona                 483
 3. Manchester United         395.9
 4. Bayern Munich             368.4
 5. Chelsea                   322.6
 6. Arsenal                   290.3
 7. Manchester City           285.6
 8. AC Milan                  256.9
 9. Liverpool                 233.2
10. Juventus                  195.4
11. Borussia Dortmund         189.1
12. Internazionale            185.9
13. Tottenham Hotspur         178.2
14. Schalke 04                174.5
15. Napoli                    148.4
16. Olympique de Marseille    135.7
17. Olympique Lyonnais        131.9
18. Hamburger SV              121.1
19. AS Roma                   115.9
20. Newcastle United          115.3
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