ONLY three English Premier League clubs are not included in the latest Deloitte Football Money League top 30. The report, issued just this week, showed that the EPL is now dominating European football, although Real Madrid remains the number one club for the 11th consecutive year.
It is hard to believe, but the likes of Southampton, Leicester City, Sunderland, Swansea and Stoke are, in terms of revenues, bigger than four times European champions Ajax Amsterdam.
English clubs in the top 30 generated in broadcasting revenues, which is more than the combined value of all matchday and commercial revenues. Nine of the top 20 clubs are English.
The English clubs have been helped by the strong value of sterling over the past year. This has meant that every £10m of revenue accrued in 2014-15 was worth an extra EUR 1.2m compared to the previous season.
Real Madrid maintained top spot in the Deloitte league, generating EUR 577m of revenues, a 5% increase on 2013-14. The legendary Spanish club saw attendances increase by 3% in 2014-15 to 72,969 but the campaign was relatively unsuccessful by their standards.
Deloitte believes that Real have a battle to hold onto their number one position and that Manchester United will overtake them. At present, though, Barcelona are in second place with revenues of EUR 560.8m, a 16% increase on the previous season. Barca’s longer-term outlook is very promising given the plans to increase the capacity of the Nou Camp to 105,000.
United’s revenues in 2014-15 totalled EUR 519.5m, in a season where the club missed out on European football. This certainly affected matchday revenues, which were down 17%, as well as broadcasting revenues which fell by 21%. But United’s new sponsorship deal with Adidas will boost revenues significantly in the coming years.
The composition of the top 10 has not changed since Deloitte’s last report, but the pecking order has. Barca moved up from fourth to second, United down one to third, Paris St. Germain up from five to four, Bayern Munich down from three to five, and Arsenal and Chelsea swap places in seventh and eighth. Liverpool and Juventus remain in ninth and tenth positions. Despite Juve’s revenues doubling in the four years under president Andrea Agnelli, Deloitte suggests that the club will struggle to maintain its high ranking. The new “J-Village”, which includes a concept store, hotel and school, will doubtless help Juve keep pace. The declining fortunes of Italy’s other traditional heavyweights is reflected in the position of AC Milan (14th), Roma (16th) and Inter (19th).
Interestingly, the gap between 10th and 11th place has widened to EUR 43.3m. This just suggest a super league within the top bracket is developing.
In conclusion, Deloitte reveals that matchday revenue has fallen to its lowest ratio of total revenue – less than 20%. But clubs still recognise the value of commercial opportunism at their stadiums and are looking at increasing matchday potential – many are talking of redevelopment or even relocation.