20 clubs with the biggest revenue in the world: Premier League dominates, only one club from outside top five leagues

31.1.2021.  
20 clubs with the biggest revenue in the world: Premier League dominates, only one club from outside top five leagues

As much as the Golden Ball and the Golden Shoe awards, the Deloitte Money League report has become a standard in the footballing calendar. Depicting the 20 clubs that had the biggest revenue in the previous, 2019/2020 season. For the 2021 edition, the results were the most interesting, varied, and different from the years of past, due to, obviously, the pandemic.



This list, in particular, doesn’t include transfer revenue, only broadcasting rights money, matchday revenue, and commercial income - shirts sales, sponsorships, and similar - are looked at.


They estimate that this year’s Money League clubs, meaning only 20 European clubs, will have missed out on over €2 billion in revenue by the end of the 2020/2021 season. Including amounts foregone in respect of 2019/2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic due to lack of matchday revenue.


Naturally, England dominates the list with seven clubs in the top 20. While only one club is found from outside the top five leagues.


20. Eintracht Frankfurt €174,000,000


Starting out with the biggest surprise on the list, Eintracht Frankfurt might've made sense at first glance if the transfers income was included on the list but it wasn't. Still, it is a massive club in Germany in a city that has over five and a half million people in its metro area. The stadium takes in 51,000 people but due to COVID-19 and other variables, their main source of income was the broadcast rights.


The club received 52% of their income from TV rights and while it has the lowest social media following on the list, and possibly far smaller than most that missed out on it, it still pulled in big commercial numbers. Their revenue was reduced for 5% compared to the 2018/2019 season but they still became the newcomer on the list rising seven spots.


19. Napoli €176,300,000


As evident by their summer's spending spree, giving around €80,000,000 on a single player, Napoli has done well for itself in the last season. Despite Italy facing the biggest effects of the virus in Europe for most of the time. But the club's revenue has dropped from €207,400,000, a rate of 15%. Their revenue is 72% consisted of the broadcast rights!


18. Lyon €180,700,000


A success as any to find themselves on this list, only one of the two French representatives, considering the country has cut the season down and cancelled it entirely. Hence, Lyon has dropped down for slightly more than €40,000,000 in revenue. A point of 18%!


Lyon's earnings come 54% from the broadcast rights, and 26% from the commercial side of the business. The club showed its strength by coming on strong in this season despite missing out on Europe because of the cancellation, with the president even looking to sue the FA.


17. Everton €212,000,000


One of only two teams on this list that had a positive change of directions in revenue. Increasing their income by only 1%, but that amounts to €8,000,000. In a time of cutbacks, that is a morale booster at the very least. The Toffees improved so much because of their announcement of the new stadium plans. Just the naming rights for the future object have brought in the new cash flow of €33,000,000 for the year.


16. Schalke 222,800,000


A show of strength and the size of Schalke as the club found itself in the Deloitte Money League despite having a horrendous streak in 2020. The club went nearly the entire year without a win in the league yet the army of fans still counts for something. Interestingly, their commercial value still looks good at 41% and the broadcast rights are at 42%.


The club did endure the biggest drop in revenue out of all teams on the list percentage-wise at 31% decrease. As the club got €324,800,000 last year and with that in mind, it's boggling how they left themselves to fight for relegation now.


15. Zenit St. Petersburg €236,000,000


Another club in the Gazprom family, and it's the favourite. Zenit St. Petersburg is the only other club that endured a significant increase in revenue as the Russian team bolstered their finances 31% compared to last year. Although, that is because their information includes the dates until December 31st 2019 and hence is devoid of the epidemic.


Still, competing with their previous selves, an increase of €56,000,000 is still impressive. Although Deloitte would do better to simply not include the Russians on their list because of this.


14. Inter €291,500,000


Facing a decrease of 20% in revenue, it seems that Inter was forced to make a step back as soon as they made two forward. It’s the second-largest drop down in the top 20 of the money league. But the club is now reportedly in a great financial strain as the decrease of €73,000,000 in revenue would do that. The club is getting most of its money from TV rights and the club failed to renegotiate some local sponsorships. Not surprising considering covid's impact on Italy.


13. Atletico Madrid €331,800,000


Having a clean drop down of 10% in revenue, getting €30,000,000 fewer than last year, Atletico might not even look at the numbers considering how good it's looking for them on the sporting level. If they get the title in Spain, new avenues for sponsorships are set to be open. Not to mention that the club will earn more from matchday income and broadcast rights, as more and more start to tune in to watch the superstar in the making, Joao Felix.


12. Borussia Dortmund €365,700,000


Unsurprisingly, still the second-best placed German club when it comes to revenue, although a long way from the club they are chasing on a sporting level as well. The team varies shirt sponsorships for the Champions League and the Bundesliga matches, and has started a new strong deal with Puma. Borussia experienced the smallest drop off all clubs who are in a downwards trend revenue-wise with only 2% or €6,000,000.


11. Arsenal €388,000,000


Arsenal's revenue fell down slightly less than the team's performances and club's stature. It's at 13% lower than it was last year and it seems that the 2020/2021 season is going to be even worse. Considering how desperately the club was trying to get the players to take a pay cut, and because the abysmal results are certain to affect the commercial income in the near future.


10. Juventus €397,900,000


Juventus' owner Andrea Agnelli has been the most vocal about the impact of the covid-19 crisis on the finances of clubs. Mostly because of his desire for a European superleague though. Juve had a decrease of 13% compared to last year and the club is at the top of Italian earnings, unsurprisingly. The ownership tried to open up new avenues of revenue through hotels and partnering up with Amazon's streaming platform.


9. Tottenham €445,700,000


Tottenham drops down one spot on the list but the club would have probably made an ascend if not for the pandemic considering their new stadium and the extra money from Amazon for the documentary. The London club also boosts its coffers with NFL games and those, alongside concerts, are going to make a difference in the post-covid world. Yet, with 15% of revenue decrease, they've been hit hard by the crisis.


8. Chelsea €469,700,000


Another London club, Chelsea has had a revamp in spending power unleashing out €250,000 in a single transfer window. Chelsea rose in the rankings one spot, yet their decrease is 8% at around €43,000,000 of difference. The club also tested the market for short-term partnership opportunities, a single match digital campaign for Duracell. The clubs are going to have to get creative but as long as players don't end up looking like Formula One cars, we're good.


7. Paris Saint-Germain €540,600,000


PSG have dropped down two spots in the list in one of their most memorable seasons sportingly, even though the league was cancelled in France. Their drop-down in revenue stands at 15% and the club has been untypically calm in the transfer market. Although, PSG will never have sponsorship or monetary issues with this ownership.


6. Manchester City €549,200,000


Another club with little care for the finances in the way other teams have to deal with it. With commercial, that is sponsorship money, making 52% of the revenue made by the Citizens. Their small drop of 11% is mostly due to the fact that they are the club that makes the least matchday revenue out of all 20 on this list. Something fans of their rivals love to hear.


5. Liverpool €558,600,000


Rising to the fifth spot despite the 8% fall in revenue, as other clubs suffered more, Liverpool has €46,000,000 in revenue fewer than in the previous season. The club suffered from not having the fans for their triumphant return both emotionally and financially, but with the expansion of Anfield, and others planned, the club wants to ensure its maximizing all areas of operation.


4. Manchester United €580,400,000


For the longest time, Manchester United has been the standard for financial success. Yet the club is now paying the price for the mostly barren seasons post-Sir Alex Ferguson. Dropping one spot in the rankings, but a staggering €131,000,000 in revenue, an 18% drop! The club has its massive stadium Old Trafford as one of the backbones of its domination during the SAF era and is waiting for it to open. Yet, they still remain the kings of the commercial aspect with 55% of their income coming that way.


3. Bayern Munich €634,100,000


Bayern's matchday income was lowered to 11% of the total income but the Bavarians are still stable in the money league. Climbing one spot and recording just a -4% change in revenue thanks to their solid sponsorships and the powerful broadcasting deal. That minuscule percentage is €26,000,000 in real numbers but the European champions seem like the most stable machinery on the list. Even more so than the two first teams even though they are way ahead.


2. Real Madrid €714,900,000


Real Madrid stayed the second and the team didn't endure much of a drop-down in income compared to the last year - only six per cent. Enough for a €43,000,000. But they are wary of the financial crisis at the Santiago Bernabeu, especially as they are remodelling their home. Although they couldn't have found a better time to do it than now when the public is prohibited from watching the matches. The Royal club is still at the top of the food chain despite their playing investments showing reasons for concern.


1. Barcelona €715,100,000


For the second year running, Barcelona has the biggest revenue out of all world's clubs. Yet somehow, the club is also on the brink of bankruptcy and is owing to other clubs, many of them on this list. But also to its own players. A downgrade of 15% in revenue compared to the 2018/2019 season means that the club lost on the €125,000,000 compared to the campaign prior.


See more about Barcelona's financial woes here.


To check out Deloitte’s report in full, go here.



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