Real Madrid has taken the top spot in the latest Deloitte Football Money League, surpassing Liverpool, Manchester United, and Manchester City, who have all slipped down the rankings. Liverpool dropped from third to seventh, while Man City secured second place and Man Utd slipped from fourth to fifth, despite a healthier revenue figure compared to the previous season.
The shift in rankings was attributed to the on-field performance of the English clubs, with Liverpool finishing fifth in the Premier League and exiting the Champions League last 16. The Money League assesses revenue figures reported in clubs’ annual accounts for the 2022-23 season and does not consider operating costs.
Real Madrid led the way with revenue of £723m in 2022-23, showcasing their success in the current European football ecosystem. Deloitte’s Sports Business Group lead partner, Tim Bridge, noted that Real Madrid and Barcelona’s stadium redevelopment and efforts to control more of their operations, particularly in merchandising and licensing, have contributed to their revenue growth. He highlighted that the focus is on the international market and emphasized the slight plateauing of Premier League rights as other leagues catch up.
The top 20 clubs collectively earned 10.5bn euros (£9bn) in revenue, reflecting a 14 per cent increase from the previous season. Despite Manchester United’s on-field struggles, they remain a commercial success story and have the ability to generate revenue. Bridge suggested that upgrading Old Trafford could further elevate them in commercial terms.
Ineos is set to invest £235m ($300m) in club infrastructure after acquiring a 25 per cent stake in United. There have been complaints from supporters regarding the stadium, particularly about leaks in its roof.