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Richest Football Clubs 2017: Man United Tops Deloitte Money League for the First Time in 11 Years

The Old Trafford side becomes No. 1 in the richest football clubs 2017 list, beating the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona for the top spot.

(Image credit: Daily Star)

The richest football clubs 2017 list commemorates the 20th edition of the Football Money League, with Manchester United topping the chart for the first time since 2003/04, with a staggering €689m (£515.3m) generated in revenues over the course of last season (2015/16). An impressive €170m surge in revenues, compared to the season before, has seen Man United clinch the No.1 spot on the richest football clubs 2017 list.

Despite winning their 11th Champions League title last season, Spanish giants Real Madrid have relinquished the top position after 11 consecutive years on the Money League. To add to their pains, Los Blancos have sealed the third position on the richest football clubs 2017 finding themselves behind their fierce rivals Barcelona, who managed to hang on to their second spot by generating merely €100,000 more in revenues than Real Madrid.

The richest football clubs 2017 list sees Man United enjoy nearly a €70m lead at the top of the chart, with second-placed Barcelona and third-placed Real Madrid recording revenues of ‘only’ €620.2m (£463.8m) and €620.1m (£463.8m), respectively.

Richest Football Clubs 20172015/16 Revenues (€/£m)2014/15 Revenues (€/£m)
1) Manchester United689 (515.3)519.5 (395.2)
2) Barcelona620.2 (463.8)560.8 (426.6)
3) Real Madrid620.1 (463.8)577 (439)
4) Bayern Munich592 (442.7)474 (360.6)
5) Man City524.9 (392.6)463.5 (352.6)
6) Paris Saint-Germain520.9 (389.6)480.8 (365.8)
7) Arsenal468.5 (350.4)435.5 (£331.3)
8) Chelsea447.4 (334.6)420 (319.5)
9) Liverpool403.8 (302)391.8 (298.1)
10) Juventus341.1 (255.1)323.9 (246.4)

(For a detailed report on the richest football clubs 2017, take a look at Deloitte Football Money League 2017 – download the pdf file on Deloitte’s site for the full report on all the top 20 clubs on the list and more.)

One of the main reasons behind Man United’s colossal increase in regards to the previous season (2014/15), is due to their kit sponsorship deal with Adidas which is said to be worth €95m (£75m) per season – it kicked in ahead of the 2015/16 campaign, which is reflected in the overall revenue the club generated for that football calendar year.

It’s also worth noting the partnership with Adidas is only a fraction of the €363.8m (£272.1m) that Man United generated from commercial deals last season – this represents 53% of the overall financial results. Broadcast rights (27% of total) helped the Old Trafford side rake in €187.7m (£140.4m), while the remainder came from Matchday (20% of total), which brought in €137.5m (£102.8m) in revenues. All of these income sources combined led the most successful English club to the top of the richest football clubs 2017 list.

After finishing fifth on the Premier League table last season, Man United missed out on Champions League football for the current season (2016/17), but even without partaking in the lucrative competition the club’s hierarchy is predicting to make a minimum of £530m in revenues throughout this season.

Although Man United have claimed the top spot for the richest football clubs 2017 list with a massive €70m lead, we’re predicting that Barcelona and Real Madrid will close the gap on them in the coming seasons, especially the former considering they’re looking to rake in around €100m per season with an improved kit supplier deal with Nike, which is set to commence from the 2018/19 season.

Richest Football Clubs 2017 - Dan Jones (Deloitte Football Money League)

The Deloitte Football Money League 2017 was compiled by Dan Jones (on the image above), Timothy Bridge, Samuel Boor, Matthew Green, Chris Hanson and Christopher Winn. (Image credit: Global Sports Forum)

Dan Jones, partner in the Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, highlighted that ‘commercial revenue’ served as the catalyst behind Man United’s immense growth to reach the No. 1 position on the richest football clubs 2017 list.

“Manchester United have had to wait 11 years to regain their position as the world’s leading revenue-generating club and it has taken phenomenal commercial revenue growth to help them achieve this,” commented Jones.

“In recent years, their ability to secure commercial partnerships with value in excess of that achievable by their peers has been the crucial factor in enabling the club to regain their place at the top of the Money League.”

Deloitte – one of the top four audit firms – takes various metrics into compiling the Football Money League, which features the top 20 highest revenue generating clubs in Europe. Both financial and non-financial elements are taken into consideration when comparing clubs’ performance over the course of the previous season, and this includes: stadium attendance, worldwide fan base, broadcast audience and on-pitch success.

However, the actual Money League chart (and the richest football clubs 2017 list itself) derives its financial information on each club based on three revenue sources:

  • Matchday – tickets and corporate hospitality sales
  • Broadcast Rights – distributions from participating in domestic leagues, cups and European competitions
  • Commercial Sources – sponsorship, merchandising, stadium tours, museum sales and other commercial pursuits

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About the author

Mark-Antonio Zivic used to be a professional footballer that won a record six Champions League medals... but decided to quit the game in his prime, believing he was better than both Ronaldo and Messi. Now he spends his time brainstorming ideas for Betting Herald, before he ventures into Hollywood movies, rubbing shoulders with Daniel Day-Lewis and Sofia Vergara.