Revenue of ‘big four’ clubs hits record £1.2bn

THE North West’s four major football clubs generated revenue of £1.2bn in 2013/14, making it the sport’s most lucrative region in the world.

Figures in the Deloitte’s Football Money League saw all four enjoying record revenue, with Manchester United moving up to places to second place with a turnover of £433.2m, not far behind the world’s richest club, Real Madrid (£459.5m).

Manchester City showed the largest percentage (28%)  increase of any top 10 club, with improved commercial deals contributing to their maintenance of sixth place with total revenue of £346.5m. The Blues are now second only to city neighbours United in terms of revenues, thanks to soaring commercial and broadcast income.

A successful season on the pitch, where Brendan Rodgers’ team was runner-up to Manchester City, saw Liverpool regain a top 10 place with revenue of £255.8m, while their cross-city rivals Everton entered the top 20 for the first time since 2004/05 generating revenue of £120.5m.

It is the 18th edition of the report, which ranks clubs based on the revenue they generate, and is produced by Deloitte’s Sports Business Group – an expert team of consultants based in Manchester.

Dan Jones, partner at Deloitte’s Sports Business Group said: “It was a very successful year for the North West clubs. No other region in the world has as many clubs in the top 20 and these clubs play a major role in the regional economy.

“Last year Premier League clubs benefited from much larger broadcast revenues thanks to the latest round of Premier League deals.

“The Premier League is currently undertaking its next round of sales of broadcast rights and with the market expectation that another significant increase will occur, it is likely that the Money League will have a strongly English appearance in the coming years, with the North West clubs likely to be at the heart of this.”

Manchester United were last in the top two in the 2007/08 season. They moved up despite the 2013/14 season being particularly disappointing on the pitch, which saw their lowest finishing position (seventh) in Premier League history.

Liverpool’s climb three places to ninth follows a 24% (£49.6m) increase in revenue and neighbours Everton appear in the Money League top 20 for only the second time in the publication’s 18-year history, and for the first time since 2004/05.