Real Madrid top 'money league' ahead of Barcelona

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Football News

Real Madrid retained it's place at the top of the football 'money league' after it became the first club in sporting history to earn more than €500m in a single season.

The La Liga champions made €512.6m (£430.4m) in the 2011/12 season, more than any other football club in the world, as on-pitch success in the league was matched by off-the-field rewards.

Barcelona were second with revenue of €483m, while Manchester United were third with €395.9m. The Old Trafford club were the top Premier League side on the list - there were seven English teams in the top 20 - with Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool all in the top 10.

The Premier League champions were among the highest risers this year, jumping up five places to seventh on the 'rich list', as revenues at the Etihad Stadium jumped up by 51 per cent from the previous season.

In total, the BBC report on the Deloitte 'money list' revealed that the top 20 clubs saw their income rise 10 per cent to €4.8bn.

Dan Jones, lead partner of the sports business group at Deloitte, told BBC Sport: "This shows how much people love their sport, even in a recession.

"Top-level sport has been resilient to the recession, particularly in terms of broadcasting and commercial rights. To see 10 per cent growth across the top 20 clubs, as well as a quadrupling of revenues over the last 15 years, is clearly impressive."

While Real Madrid and Barcelona remain in a class of their own, La Liga exposed it's financial weaknesses as no other team from the country made the top 20.

Instead, the Premier League had seven clubs - United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool and Newcastle - Italy had five teams - AC Milan, Napoli, Inter Milan, Roma and Juventus - and Germany had four sides - Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, Hamburg.

Like Spain, France also had two teams - Lyon and Marseille. But Deloitte said expects the Premier League to challenge the Spanish hegemony in the coming years, and may even come to dominate as much as half the 'money league'.

The imminent Premier League TV rights deal - worth an estimated £5bn - should help English clubs match the revenues of Barcelona, while United will soon benefit from a huge shirt sponsorship windfall as a result of their recent agreement with US firm General Motors.

United dominated the list during it's early days - topping it from 1996-97 to 2003-04 - but even since the Bernabeu giants have displaced them as the highest earning club.

Away from Europe's top five leagues - Portugal's Benfica, currently unbeaten in the Portuguese first division, lie in 22nd with revenue of €111.1m.

And outside of Europe, FIFA Club World Cup winners Corinthians are the highest placed team - the Brazilian club are currently 31st with revenue of €94.1m.

Top 10 (in euros)

1. Real Madrid - Revenue: €512.6m

2. Barcelona - €483m

3. Manchester United - €395.9m

4. Bayern Munich - €368.4m

5. Chelsea - €322.6m

6. Arsenal - €290.3m

7. Manchester City - €285.6m

8. AC Milan - €256.9m

9. Liverpool - €233.2m

10. Juventus - €195.4m


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