La Liga clubs Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona held the top two spots in the 15th edition of the Deloitte Football Money League, which details the financial performance of the highest-earning clubs. While Real Madrid led the league for the seventh consecutive year with revenues of €479.5 million in 2010-11, FC Barcelona was not far behind with €450.7m, finishing second for the third successive time. Following the reigning Europeans champions was the competition’s finalist, Manchester United, who was a distant third with €367m (£349m). Deloitte’s report stated that the wide gap between the first two places and the third is primarily because La Liga clubs have the “advantage of being able to negotiate their individual TV rights deals.”
Spain was one of the European economies hit the hardest by the Euro crisis. But Deloitte’s report noted that it has not badly affected the finances of Real Madrid and Barcelona as both clubs “are global brands that can be marketed to international viewers and sponsors.” Barcelona had a 13.2% growth in 2010/11 which saw its revenues pass the €450m mark for the first time.
Deloitte Sports Business Group partner Dan Jones noted the ability of football clubs to profit even in times of global economic decline. “Continued growth of the top 20 clubs during 2010/11 emphasises the strength of football’s top clubs, especially in these tough economic times. Whilst revenue growth has slowed from 8% in 2009/10 to 3% in 2010/11, their large and loyal supporter bases, ability to drive strong broadcast audiences and continuing attraction to corporate partners has made them relatively resilient to the economic downturn.”
With regards to the numbers race between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, Jones speculated the it could only be a matter of time before Barcelona takes top spot.
“The full impact of Barça’s shirt sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation worth an average of €30m a season and US$5m (€3.5m) prize money gained from winning the FIFA Club World Cup will boost the club’s revenue in 2011/12. This may allow it to narrow, or even bridge, the gap to Real. However, relative on-pitch performance particularly in the Champions League, may determine next year’s top two Money League placings. In any case, both clubs are closing in on revenues of €500m and are likely to pass this threshold within the next few years. Each club’s annual revenues have grown by almost €200m compared with five years before, a remarkable achievement.”
Also in the report:
- “A revenue increase across all three categories (matchday, broadcasting and commercial), totalling €52.6m (13%), has resulted in Barça extending their lead over third placed Manchester United from €48.3m to €83.7m (£75.6m). They also closed the gap on leaders Real Madrid from €40.5m in 2009/10 to €28.8m (£26m) in 2010/11.”
- “The club reports that the other key factors in this increase in commercial revenues were contractual bonuses from winning the Champions League, increased stadium tour visitors (1.5m), and the development of their new Seient Lliure ticket exchange service in Barcelona.”
The only other Liga club to make the cut in the top 20 was Valencia, who came in 19th. “The challenge for Spain is that these two are so far ahead of the rest on and off the pitch,” Jones said. Bayern Munich finished fourth, while London club Arsenal came in fifth. See the top 20 list here.
You can download the report from here.