Football Money League 2014/15 season – world’s richest clubs

The silly money just got sillier as the business of football once again rubs our noses in it


The sums of money involved are not only truly astonishing and will have any hard up Premiership fan shaking with rage, it’s getting to the point where it’s difficult to imagine just what these actual numbers mean.

The global accountancy firm Deloitte has published its annual league table of the world’s biggest earning football clubs and the combined revenue last season of the top ten earning clubs comes in at a jaw dropping £3.5 billion. To put it in more basic terms these clubs earned over £13 million a day last season.

The table itself is a celebration of the financial ruthlessness of all the major European clubs as the culture of big business becomes ever more apparent. It’s perhaps no surprise that Spanish and English teams dominate things with no less than 5 Premiership clubs in the top 10, and La Liga taking the first two positions. Real Madrid hold the number one spot for the 11th successive year generating a massive £439m revenue in the 2014/15 season closely followed by Barcelona on £426.6m. Manchester United come in third with an impressive £395.2m.

The top ten money generating clubs 2014/15 are:

1 Real Madrid €577m
2 Barcelona €560.8m
3 Manchester United €519.5m
4 Paris Saint‑Germain €480.8m
5 Bayern Munich €474m
6 Manchester City €463.5m
7 Arsenal €435.5m
8 Chelsea €420m
9 Liverpool €391.8m
10 Juventus €323.9m

Deloitte break down revenue into three main sources and gives their relative percentages in relation to each other. They are:

  • matchday revenue (19%) – includes ticket sales and corporate hospitality
  • broadcast rights (40%) – including domestic, cup and European club competitions
  • commercial (41%) – includes sponsorship, merchandising, stadium tours and other commercial operations

For example last season Man United’s combined revenue from matchday (£86m) and broadcast (£107m) was less than that of their commercial revenue (£200m).

It is clear from the above that the match itself is the least important aspect of a football club as a business in terms of generating income. The supreme irony of course is that without the weekly saturday games there would be no football, no leagues, no commercial opportunities and no broadcasting rights to sell to the highest bidder.

As Deloitte have already confirmed matchday revenue is at an all time low, and is set to fall even lower in the future. And it is perhaps because of the massive disparity between matchday and commercial revenue that Premiership clubs are so reluctant to lower ticket prices. And frankly individual match going fans are worth nothing compared to the cost of a multi-national company emblazoned across the shirt. If you wanted to be really cynical you could say the premier league football match is now simply one big advertising event for various companies to promote their goods in front of thousands of potential customers who just happen to be watching a football game.

Interestingly it’s Arsenal who come top of the table in terms of the club that generates the biggest revenue on matchdays with £99 million for last season.

The question most fans will be asking, and certainly groups like Football Supporters Federation and Supporters Direct will be lobbying for, is if these clubs are creating so much money why isn’t any being set aside for the benefit of those committed fans who make it to the terraces week in, week out?

The answer coming from your average Premiership boardroom will be the same: who gives a fuck!



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