The advent of the European Super League, albeit short-lived, is a reminder that football clubs are business enterprises - the main aim being the maximisation of profit.
As more and more football clubs get listed on stock exchanges worldwide, a club’s off-the-pitch activities become as vital as their performances on it. The news of the recent resignation of Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was held back for a few hours due to its possible implications on the New York Stock Exchange.
The announcement of the Super League saw Manchester United’s stock rise by over 7%, but the immense backlash they received saw their stock plummet by around 6%. Moreover, Juventus’ stock collapsed by 12% after the rightful demise of the European Super League.
The 2021 Football Money League rankings list the revenue earned by each club in the 2019-20 FY. On that note, let's have a look at the ten richest football clubs in the world at the moment.
#10 Juventus | €397.9 million
Italian champions Juventus are one of the richest clubs in the world. Enduring revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic like most other football clubs, the Bianconeri's largest source of income last FY was commercial (€188.9), while they earned about €166.7 million in broadcasting.
In 2018-19, the Bianconeri had raked in €208.5 million from broadcasting, an amount that was twice of what they earned just a decade back.
Allianz increased their sponsorship deal with Juventus to €103.1 million, while Adidas raised their annual deal with the Bianconeri by €23.25 million annually to €51m. Jeep, too, increased their sponsorship agreement with the Italian giants from €17 million per year to €42 million.
#9 Tottenham Hotspur | €445.7 million
One of five English clubs in the top ten, Tottenham Hotspur raked in revenue of €445.7 million last FY. The total revenue for Spurs in 2018-19 was around €440 million.
Despite their struggles in domestic and European competitions this season, Spurs have done decently on the financial front despite the COVID-19 pandemic wrecking the finances of most football clubs.
The London club earned €155 million from broadcasting deals last FY and €183 million in commercial income.
#8 Chelsea | €469.7 million
Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich-owned Chelsea comes in at #8 in the Deloitte 2021 Football Money League rankings.
The West Londoners have been consistent performers in the Premier League, which has made them a constant presence in Europe as well. More game time in the Champions League has also led to an increase in commercial and broadcasting revenue.
The Blues earned €208.9 million from broadcasting last FY- over double the amount they earned in 2010-11. The commercial revenue stream was Chelsea’s second-highest source of revenue last FY - contributing approximately €200 million.
#7 Paris Saint-Germain | €540.6 million
The champions of France, Paris Saint-Germain raked in revenue of €540 million last FY.
PSG almost won a quadruple last season but were denied by Bayern Munich in their first Champions League final. This season as well, the Parisians have fared well in Europe, reaching the semi-finals, and are in the reckoning for the European treble.
Last season, the star-studded team had a combined team value of €870 million, with Kylian Mbappe (€165 million) their most valuable player.
#6 Manchester City | €549.2 million
English champions-elect and another contender for the European treble this season, Manchester City endured an 11% loss in revenue last FY compared to the previous year.
Their broadcasting and matchday income saw a massive drop compared to that in 2018-19, but their commercial income rose during this period, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
After almost going bankrupt over a decade ago, the arrival of Sheikh Mansour has transformed Manchester City's fortunes both on and off the field.
After the City Football Group took over City's operations in 2008, City became one of the best financially and administratively run clubs. They are known for their social work around the greater Manchester area - helping set up parks, stadiums, infrastructure and doing massive investment in women’s football over the years.
#5 Liverpool | €558.6 million
Like Manchester City, reigning English champions Liverpool also endured a loss in revenue owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Liverpool are one of the biggest clubs in Europe and have a rich history - winning six European Cups and 19 English League titles, which is second only to that of Manchester United (20).
Last FY, Liverpool's highest source of revenue was commercial income (€243.4 million), which was more than three times what they had earned a decade ago. However, like most other clubs, Liverpool suffered a dip in their matchday and broadcasting revenue, earning almost €80 million less than what they had earned a season before.
#4 Manchester United | €580.4 million
Manchester United have been one of the most commercially successful clubs in English football over the past few decades.
The era of Sir Alex Ferguson raised the reputation of Manchester United to a mythical level, making them one of the most durable teams in the sporting world.
As of 2019, Manchester United had the highest team brand value among Premier League clubs. United’s income in jersey kit sponsorships was €47 million (courtesy Chevrolet) in the 2018-19 season.
#3 Bayern Munich | €634.1 million
Bayern Munich were one of the top three earners in the financial year ending 2019-20. Their commerical income (€360 million) was their highest income source, followed by broadcasting and match-day income.
Bayern Munich are the most successful club in Bundesliga history, winning 29 titles, which includes the last eight in the competition. Their appearances in the Champions League knockout stage makes them one of the most marketable and the most successful German club, both on and off the pitch.
Last season, the Bavarian giants won the continental treble
#2 Real Madrid | €714.9 million
Real Madrid endured a revenue loss, like most other clubs, during a COVID-19-ravaged 2019-20 campaign.
The defending La Liga champions are arguably the most commercially successful football club of the 21st century, thanks to the 'Galactico' transfer policy of their president Florentino Perez. That saw several big-name players like Zinedine Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckam and Gareth Bale, to name a few, join the club.
In 2020, Los Blancos were one of 32 UEFA clubs with the highest enterprise value (€3.48 million in midpoint enterprise value).
#1 Barcelona | €715.1 million
The numero uno in the Deloitte 2021 Football Money League rankings is FC Barcelona, who narrowly edged their arch-rivals Real Madrid by €0.2 million.
Like most clubs, the Blaugrana witnessed a dip in revenue last season - a €125 million fall from what they earned in 2018-19. However, Barcelona also have one the highest debts - €1.2 billion - in Europe’s top leagues. Reportedly, the club owes money for a few transfer deals - including Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool and Frenkie De Jong from Ajax.
In the 2018-19 FY, the revenue of the Spanish giants grew by 22% to €840.8 million - raking up record matchday and commercial income. The brand value of Barcelona recieved a huge boost in 2013 and 2014, owing to big-name signings like Neymar and Luis Suarez.
Under a new manager - Ronald Koeman - this season, Barcelona recovered from an indifferent start and are well and truly in the La Liga title race.