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Volume 6 No. 262
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ManU Is World's Richest Club, Deloitte Study Reveals; EPL Boasts 14 Of Highest-Earning 30

The Premier League makes "so much more money from its multibillion-pound sales of television rights, tickets and commercial income that 14 of its clubs are in the highest-earning 30 in the world," according to David Conn of the London GUARDIAN. According to European football clubs' '16-17 financial information, collated by consultancy firm Deloitte, ManU "made the most money of any club on the planet last year," £581M in total. Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool were "among the 10 richest clubs in Europe, and therefore the world," along with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Qatari-backed Paris St. Germain. The Premier League clubs' "dominance" reflects their earnings from the first year of the record £8.4B ($11.75B) TV deals for '16-19, which are "vastly greater than those of competing European leagues" (GUARDIAN, 1/23). In London, Luke Edwards reported ManU held on to the top spot by just £1.7M ($2.4M) over Real Madrid. It is the 10th time ManU has been the world's richest club, "although the winning margin has never been smaller." It was the club's success in the Europa League final that "made the difference," as it received €44.5M from UEFA for winning that tournament. Dan Jones, a partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said, "United's ability to retain first position is all the more impressive against the backdrop of the weakened pound against the Euro." While all Premier League clubs "benefited from the improved broadcast deals," it was Southampton and Leicester City's performance in European competitions which saw them "gain their highest ever respective positions" (TELEGRAPH, 1/23).

GLOBAL AUDIENCES: Also in London, Murad Ahmed reported Europe's top football clubs are "now reliant on global audiences as their primary source of income." The Deloitte analysis shows that "elite clubs are less reliant on income from fans attending home games than smaller rivals." The majority of Europe's 20 richest clubs earn "no more than a fifth of their income" from "matchday" revenues. While broadcasting income is a "crucial source of revenue for all top clubs," the very richest sides can also "tap into global fanbases and achieve large sums" through int'l commercial deals. ManU has gained "large increases in commercial revenue in recent years," despite the club not having won the Premier League title since '13 (FINANCIAL TIMES, 1/22).

CLIMBING THE RANKS: REUTERS' Matt Westby reported big movers included EPL sides Leicester City, which climbed from 20th last year to 14th, and Southampton, which entered the top 20 for the first time in 18th position. Both were "boosted by playing in European competitions last season." Elsewhere, Inter Milan climbed four places to 15th "thanks largely to commercial growth" following its takeover by Chinese company Suning Holdings Group (REUTERS, 1/22). In London, Matt Slater reported unlike some studies of football's finances, Deloitte excludes revenues from player-trading but its numbers confirm several recent reports by other organizations, "most notably" last week's report on European club football by UEFA (INDEPENDENT, 1/23). The BBC's Bill Wilson reported other findings include:

  • AC Milan fell out of the top 20 for the first time and AS Roma for "only the third time."
  • AFC Bournemouth is the "only debutant amongst clubs ranked 21 to 30."
  • China and the U.S. "may see a member club enter the list" in the future (BBC, 1/23).