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Deloitte Football Money League 2013

Dan Jones

Welcome to the 16th edition of the Deloitte Football Money League, in which we profile the highest earning clubs in the world’s most popular sport. Published eight months after the end of the 2011/12 season, the Money League is the most contemporary and reliable analysis of the clubs’ relative financial performance.

There are a number of financial and non-financial methods that can be used to determine a clubs’ relative size – including measures of attendance, fanbase, broadcast audience, or on-pitch success. In the Money League we focus on clubs’ ability to generate revenue from day to day football operations.

We therefore rank them on those revenues, including matchday ticket and corporate hospitality sales,
broadcast rights revenues including distributions from participation in European club competitions, sponsorship, merchandising, and other commercial operations.

Growing well

2011/12 represented another strong year of revenue growth for the Game’s elite clubs, with the top 20 Money League clubs generating over €4.8 billion in 2011/12, a 10% increase on the previous year.

Double digit percentage revenue growth in 2011/12 represents continued remarkably strong performance in these tough economic times.

The 2011/12 revenue total is four times the combined revenues of the top 20 earning football clubs back in 1996/97, the first year of our Money League analysis, emphasising the staggering levels of growth achieved. The sport’s top 20 revenue generating clubs now contribute over a quarter of the total revenues of the European football market, and can be expected to generate over €5 billion between them in 2012/13.

Whilst in local currency, eight of the top 20 clubs experienced a drop in revenue, in most cases this was due to less successful on-pitch performance in European club competitions, and resulting reductions in matchday revenues and central UEFA distributions, rather than wider recessionary impacts.

Hardy perennials

Real Madrid again top the Money League rankings, matching the eight year hegemony that Manchester United enjoyed between 1996/97 and 2003/04, and are the first club to surpass the €500m revenue threshold in a single year. Real have led the way in the phenomenal level of revenue growth enjoyed by the sport’s top clubs over the past two decades.

FC Barcelona retain second place, maintaining a Spanish one-two in the Money League for the fourth successive year, whilst the top six clubs remain unchanged for a fifth successive year, emphasising the fact that these clubs have some of the largest fanbases and hence strongest revenues, in both domestic and international markets.

All of our top 20 clubs are based in one of Europe’s ‘big five’ European markets – England (seven clubs), Italy (5), Germany (4), Spain (2), and France (2).

Further down the top 20 rankings, many of the movements in rankings year on year can be attributable to relative performance in European club competitions. This year’s edition has one new entrant, with English club Newcastle United replacing Spanish club Valencia.

Real progress

In retaining top position in the Money League, Real Madrid generated revenues of €513m in 2011/12, an increase of €33m (7%), and become the first club from any sport to earn more than €500m in a single year.

The Spanish club’s revenue growth has been remarkable. In 1996/97, the first season for which we published our Money League analysis, Real generated revenues of €85m, one sixth of the revenues they generated in 2011/12, and insufficient to make the top 30 in the current list. Over the fifteen years since, the club’s revenue has grown by €428m at a compound growth rate of 13%.

The majority of Los Blancos’ revenue growth over this period has been under the stewardship of president Florentino Perez, from 2000 to 2006 and 2009 to the present, who has implemented a strategy that has grown revenues, and in particular commercial revenues, to reflect the club’s domestic and international fanbase.

Whilst debate and discussion continues into the future of La Liga’s broadcast model, with the current individual rights selling model exacerbating polarisation in revenue generating ability between Spanish clubs, Real still enjoy a balanced revenue model between the three key streams of matchday (25% of total revenues in 2011/12), broadcast (39%) and commercial (36%).

The revenue model is also relatively robust to fluctuations in on-pitch performance. With expansion of the club’s Bernabeu home planned, and further commercial revenue generating opportunities available, Real are likely to be difficult to displace at the top of the Money League, in the near future at least.

Flourishing climbers

Manchester City are the joint highest climbers in this year’s Money League, moving up five places to seventh and claiming a top ten position for the first time. The investment in the playing squad by the club’s Abu Dhabi based owners propelled them to their first Premier League title in 2011/12, whilst they also participated in the Champions League for the first time.

This combined with commercial revenue increases, with strong support from Middle East partners in particular, facilitated a £78m (51%) growth in revenues to £231m (€286m) in 2011/12, with the club looking well set to consolidate a place within the Money League top ten. 

Italy’s Old Lady, Juventus, return to the top ten thanks to a tremendous season on the pitch, winning Serie A with an unbeaten record, whilst also participating in the Champions League. 

Schalke 04 drop out of the top ten, as a result of not matching their feat of reaching the Champions League semi-finals, as do Internazionale for the first time in a decade. The Milan-based club, along with a number of other Italian clubs, need to replicate rivals Juventus’ success in investing in their home stadium and reaping the associated matchday and commercial revenue benefits.

Resurgent on-pitch performance allows Borussia Dortmund to retain their place in the Money League and the club are the joint highest climber, along with Manchester City and Napoli, moving up five places to 11th, their highest ranking since 1997/98. Dortmund won the Bundesliga for the second successive season, completing a league and cup double in the process, which allowed them to earn the second highest revenues of any German club in 2011/12 behind Bayern Munich. 

Napoli climb five places in this year’s Money League, but their failure to secure Champions League football for 2012/13 will see them fall again in our ranking.

New blooms    

A trend in the wider global economy and sports market is the increasing financial strength and influence of emerging markets. Football is no different. 

Whilst all our top 20 clubs are from the ‘big five’ European markets, Dutch club Ajax and Turkish club Galatasaray are amongst the group of clubs immediately below, with revenues of €104.1m and €95.1m respectively.

Brazilian club Corinthians are the highest placed non- European club with revenues of €94m. This places the current FIFA Club World Champions amongst the clubs immediately below the top 20.

A growing economy has contributed to increasing broadcast and commercial revenues for Brazil’s top clubs. These factors combined with the substantial stadia investment committed or planned in both Brazil and Russia in order to host the next two World Cups, in 2014 and 2018, means that clubs from these countries potentially have a strong platform to challenge the dominance of clubs from Europe’s ‘big five’ Leagues, and hence enter the lower half of our top 20, in future years.

Club Reported revenue €m
Valencia 111.1
Benfica 111.1
Atlético Madrid 107.9
Ajax 104.1
VfB Stuttgart 103.2
Everton 99.5
Aston Villa 98.6
Fulham 98.0
Sunderland 96.4
Galatasaray 95.1
Corinthians 94.1

Picture perfect 

In 2012, the Premier League announced new domestic live broadcast rights deals worth just over £3 billion for the three year period from 2013/14, a 70% increase on the previous value. Domestic and overseas broadcast arrangements for England’s top-flight are likely to generate over £5 billion over the three year term. 

The new deals will deliver a step change in broadcast distributions for England’s top clubs who are each set to benefit from an incremental increase of between £20m and £30m per season. As a result, it is possible that those English clubs currently on the fringes of the top 20 may break into the Money League in the next few years, with perhaps up to half of the list composed of English clubs, up from the current seven. Certainly England will expect to break their previous record for representation of eight clubs in the top 20.

Growth in domestic league broadcast rights contracts is not limited to the Premier League, with Germany’s Bundesliga also announcing new deals from 2013/14. The value of the domestic deals are more than a 50% uplift on the current situation, although in terms of quantum the broadcast revenues generated by Germany’s top flight are far less than those of the Premier League. 

The ability of top-tier domestic league football to deliver ‘through the season’ content is highly attractive to Pay-TV operators, who pay premium rights fees for live rights, and have been instrumental in underpinning the sport’s remarkable revenue growth.

Growing apart 

As clubs have enjoyed substantial revenue growth, large differences in the level of earnings between clubs have appeared, even amongst those at the very top end of the game. 

Whilst the fact that football’s top 20 earning clubs contribute over one quarter of the total revenues of the European football market gives an indication of the sport’s financial polarity, there are substantial revenue differences even among these 20 clubs. 

Real Madrid earned almost €200m more than fifth placed Money League club Chelsea in 2011/12, double that of eighth placed AC Milan, and approaching four and a half times (almost €400m more than) that of our 20th ranked club, Newcastle United. 

Whilst La Liga’s individual broadcast rights selling regime contributes to this polarity in the Spanish game, and means only the two Spanish giants make our top 20 rankings, the difference in the level of matchday and commercial revenues generated by the Game’s very top clubs and the rest, is also stark. 

This has been emphasised by the recent batch of commercial deals that have been announced by clubs. Manchester United’s ground breaking seven year shirt sponsorship deal with General Motors, worth $70m (€54m) in the first full season (2014/15) of the deal with small increases thereafter, topped FC Barcelona’s €30m per season deal with Qatar Sports Investments.

Whilst some of these two clubs’ peers may look to these values as benchmarks, and the structure of inventory packaged in to a club’s main sponsorship deal can vary, the value of such deals for many clubs in the bottom half of the Money League are often in the single digit millions, in Euro terms. 

This emphasises the gulf in revenue generating ability between those at the very top of the Money League and the rest, and is likely to mean they remain in our top ten for the foreseeable future.

Sustainable growth 

Whilst the Money League covers clubs’ revenue performance, there is an increasing focus within European football on clubs achieving more sustainable levels of expenditure relative to revenues, particularly given UEFA’s financial fair play break-even requirement. Indeed clubs’ financial results for their reporting period ending in 2012 will be part of the break-even assessment, which will first apply to clubs in UEFA competitions for the 2013/14 season. 

We believe disciplined and responsible governance structures and financial management within European football, whilst providing the platform for investment in facilities and youth development, should only be encouraged.

This edition 

We provide profiles of each of the top 20 clubs in this edition. The Deloitte Football Money League was compiled by Dan Jones, Austin Houlihan, Alex Bosshardt, Timothy Bridge, Chris Hanson, Andy Shaffer, Chris Stenson and Alexander Thorpe. Our thanks go to all those who have assisted us, inside and outside the Deloitte international network. We hope you enjoy this edition.

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