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Top 10 highest earning football clubs in Europe



Jose Mourinho’s struggle for success at Manchester United has seen Real Madridreplace the club as the continent’s biggest earners and allowed Manchester City to narrow the earnings gap on their neighbours by a massive £40m.

Manchester United’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho reacts during the pre-season friendly football match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester United at the DW stadium in Wigan, northwest England, on July 16, 2016. / AFP / JON SUPER / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read JON SUPER/AFP/Getty Images)

United had been top of the Deloitte Money League for the previous two years but despite a return to the Champions League did not venture beyond the round of 16, so Real and Barcelona have leapfrogged them as Europe’s top two earners in the table.

United did increase their revenues by getting back into the Champions League – but by only two per cent to £590m, a smaller rise than any club in the Deloitte top five. Matchday and general commercial revenues were both down and income from UEFA roughly similar to the previous year, when they won the Europa League.

City, meanwhile, increased all revenues, closing the earnings gap on United in a single season from £128m in 2016-17 to £87m this time. Gradually, City have chipped away at what was a huge class divide when the Abu Dhabis first bought the club. A decade ago, United had more than three times City’s annual earning power: £324m compared to £104m.


The Deloitte report commentary said United’s on-field performances would have to improve if they are to catch up the two Spanish giants. ‘Improved first team performance will drive increased Premier League and UEFA distributions and enhance the potential to negotiate improved commercial deals.’

The narrowing of the traditional commercial class divide in Manchester is reflected in north London, with Deloitte revealing that Tottenham Hotspur have made substantial ground on Arsenal, with a mere £10m now separating them from the Gunners.

Arsenal 2-0 Everton 1

Though Spurs’ extended relocation to Wembley Stadium has frustrated many fans, the temporary move has increased matchday revenue by 54 per cent to £26.5m. This has seen Spurs climb above Juventus into the Money League top 10 for only the second time.

Deloitte believe that Arsenal’s own 17-year stay in their top 10 could now come under threat. Spurs £379.4m revenue compares with Arsenal’s £389.1m – down because of the side’s absence from the Champions League.

Arsenal are the biggest fallers in the top 10 – dropping three places to ninth, their lowest position since 2004-05 after a bigger fall in revenue than any other club in the top 20. They were nearly £30m down. Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final saw them record the largest revenue increase in the Money League’s top 10 – a hike of £90.6m – and they now sit seventh.

Chelsea, Everton, Newcastle United and West Ham United complete England’s representation in this year’s top 20.


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