Premier League clubs dominate world football rich list

Manchester United 3

Soccer's 20 biggest money-making clubs generated as much as 6.6 billion euros ($7.18 billion) in revenues last season, 8 percent higher than the year before, according to a new report from Deloitte's sports business group.

Leading the pack for the 11th year running was Real Madrid, with the Spanish giants reporting revenues of 577 million euros despite a disappointing season, topping local rival (and reigning Spanish league champion) Barcelona's 560.8 million-euro haul and Manchester United's 519.5 million euros figure. 

"For the first time, the top three clubs in the Football Money League have all passed the 500 million euros revenue mark," said Dan Jones, a partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte in the report.

The Football Money League is calculated by taking into account the various revenue streams soccer clubs have, including match-day ticket sales, broadcasting rights, participation bonuses from various club competitions, as well as sponsorship and merchandising.

Last season the ratio of the three principal revenue streams for clubs remained consistent with previous years. 41 percent of revenue came from commercial avenues, 40 percent from broadcast, and 19 percent from match-day sources.

Rounding up the top five were France's Paris Saint-Germain with earnings of 480.8 million euros and Germany's Bayern Munich at 474 million euros. Notably, for the fourth time in the last seven seasons, the top 20 clubs all came from England, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany.

English soccer clubs continued to dominate the money league, taking up nine out of 20 positions on the table with a combined revenue of 2.98 billion euros, including a new entrant into the top 20 - West Ham United. In the broader top 30 table, they dominated 17 out of 30 places.

Deloitte noted this was due to two reasons: the relative equality of distribution rights in the English Premier League as well as the performance of the pound against the euro.

The report said every 10 million pound of revenue ($14.2 million) accrued in the 2014/15 season was worth an extra 1.2 million euros compared to the previous year. This "helps the English clubs when comparing financial performance on a year-on-year basis."

Half of the UK broadcast revenue is split equally among the 20 clubs in the league, another 25 percent distributed based on a club's final position on the table, and the remaining money is paid in Facility Fees every time a club's matches are broadcast in the UK.

International broadcast revenue and central commercial revenue is split equally among the clubs, according to the Premier League's website.

This gives clubs that do not participate in Europe's top prize-money generating competitions a "considerable competitive advantage internationally," said the report.

English clubs could receive additional boost in revenue once the new Premier League broadcast deal kicks in from the 2016/17 season. British broadcasters Sky and telecommunications firm BT won the rights to televise the games in the United Kingdom for 5.14 billion pounds from 2016 to 2019.

With the equitable distribution model, this would see lower-tiered Premier League clubs making as much revenue as some of the bigger names in other European leagues.

Deloitte said as a result of this deal, there is an outside chance that the Money League top 30 will feature all 20 Premier League clubs in two years' time.

Tim Bridge, a senior manager at Deloitte, also noted in the report that Manchester United's firm grip in the top three, despite a reduction in year-on-year revenue, showed "the underlying strength in the club's business model."

Bridge said it would not be a surprise to see the English club usurp Real Madrid to take the top spot in next year's Money League.

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