The latest edition of the Deloitte Football Money League has confirmed the Premier League's status as the cash cow of the game, with 17 of the 20 clubs from the English top flight making the top 30. Manchester United had to settle for third spot behind Real Madrid (first, €577 million/£439m) and Barcelona (second, €560.8m/£426.6m), but they remain the highest revenue-generating club from the Premier League, earning €519.5m (£395.2m) over 2014-15 and seemingly destined to catch their Spanish rivals in the not too distant future.
"Despite a reduction in revenue year-on-year, the fact that Manchester United remain in the top three of the Money League demonstrates the underlying strength of the club’s business model," Tim Bridge, senior manager at Deloitte, said.
"The return to Champions League football, as well as the commencement of a number of significant commercial partnerships, will only strengthen the business in 2015-16.
"With this in mind, it would not be surprising to see United top next year’s Money League for the first time in 12 years, with the club forecasting revenues of around £500m [around €650m]."
Chelsea won the Premier League in 2014-15, but have been usurped by Arsenal off the pitch as the top London club in the Money League for the first time since 2009-10, swapping places between seventh and eighth position.
Arsenal benefited from the first year of their new kit sponsorship deal with Puma to drive impressive commercial revenue growth of 34 per cent, and their matchday revenue was the highest of any club in the Money League, and nearly £30m greater than Chelsea’s.
Manchester City and Liverpool are the other two Premier League clubs in the top 10, placing sixth and ninth, to highlight the Premier League's dominance with five clubs in the top 10.
The number of Premier League clubs in the top 20 increased from eight last year to a record nine in this edition, with West Ham sneaking in at 20th place. The nine Premier League clubs in the top 20 total revenues of €3bn.
Furthermore, the number of Premier League clubs in the top 30 compared with last year has also risen, from 14 to 17 following the entrance of Crystal Palace, Leicester City and West Brom. This is again testament to the phenomenal broadcast success of the Premier League and the relative equality of its distributions, giving its non-Champions League clubs particularly a considerable competitive advantage internationally.
"Despite disappointing performances by Premier League clubs in recent European competitions, they continue to lead the way in revenue terms," Bridge added.
"With the new round of Premier League broadcast deals set to deliver greatly improved domestic broadcast revenues in 2016/17, we expect to see Premier League clubs cementing their places in the top 30 in the coming years, with potential for some of these to climb into the top 20.”
With the staggering new Premier League domestic broadcast deal coming into effect in 2016-17, there is an outside chance that the Money League top 30 will feature all 20 Premier League clubs in two years’ time.
Premier League clubs in top 30:
3. Manchester United £395.2m
6. Manchester City £352.6m
7. Arsenal £331.3m
8. Chelsea £319.5m
9. Liverpool £298.1m
12. Tottenham £195.9m
17. Newcastle United £128.8m
18. Everton £125.6m
20. West Ham £122.4m
22. Southampton £113.7m
23. Aston Villa £113.2m
24. Leicester City £104.4m
25. Sunderland £101.1m
26. Swansea City £101.0m
27. Stoke City £99.6m
28. Crystal Palace £99.5m
29. West Brom £96.3m
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