NW football giants figure strongly in world’s biggest revenue earners

Four North West clubs are among the biggest revenue earners in world football.

The 24th edition of the Deloitte Football Money League shows the financial performance of the highest revenue-generating clubs, during a disrupted 2019-20 season.

Seven English Premier League clubs make up the top 20, including Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton.

Manchester United’s revenue of £509m saw them slip out of the top three to fourth place for the first time since 2012/13 after a revenue decrease of £118.1m (19%), the largest year-on-year decline in this year’s Money League.

This was largely due to the Red Devils not competing in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League as well as being affected by the absence of matchday revenue and broadcast rebates and deferrals. The Reds remain the top commercial revenue generating Premier League club, totalling £282.1m, and the fourth highest in the Money League.

Current Premier League champions Liverpool entered the top five for the first time since 2001/02 with revenue of £489.9m, down from £533m the previous year.

The club’s on-pitch success of the past few seasons collectively drove a £27.6m increase in commercial revenue as well as delivering the second highest broadcast revenue of Money League clubs (£203.9m).

Manchester City (£481.6m) saw an 11% decrease in revenue.

The club finished its Champions League campaign behind closed doors and after the end of its financial year, hence deferring a larger proportion of UEFA broadcast revenue to the next financial year.

The club’s commercial revenue increased £19.6m, a nine per cent improvement, which was largely attributable to its new technical kit and training kit agreements.

Everton rose two places to 17th after the club recorded a marginal one per cent increase in revenue to £185.9m, being one of only two clubs in this year’s Money League to grow revenue.

Everton’s marginal revenue growth was driven by the club’s commercial revenue more than doubling to £76m. This was the largest growth (104%) in commercial revenue across all Money League clubs.

Tim Bridge, director in the sports business group at Deloitte, said: “Impressively, all four North West clubs in this year’s Football Money League were able to grow their commercial revenue which was fuelled by a combination of the commencement of new major commercial deals combined with clubs’ ability to successfully mitigate losses despite the closure of stadia.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an impetus for clubs to rethink and recalibrate their wider strategic objectives and business models to ensure a strong recovery from the current situation.

“In particular, the focus on both internal and external digital capabilities has accelerated as digital interaction has become the dominant way in which clubs can engage with their employees and fans.

“The most agile, and innovative clubs will be the best placed to deliver the greater value to their key stakeholders and be rewarded with the fastest and strongest recovery.”

The top three clubs are Barcelona (revenues of £627.1m), Real Madrid (£627m), and Bayern Munich (£556.1m), who replaced Manchester United in third spot.

England’s other clubs were Chelsea in eighth position (£411.9m), Tottenham Hotspur in ninth (£390.9m), and Arsenal in 11th place (£340.3m).