Barcelona have overtaken Real Madrid to become the world’s richest football club, according to Deloitte’s Football Money League.
The Spanish champions saw revenue soar to €840.8m (£741.1m) last year – a record figure for any team and almost 10 per cent more than domestic rivals Real Madrid.
Manchester United remain the highest placed English club in the annual ranking, which is based on revenue and published today.
United recorded income of €711.5m (£627.1m) for 2018-19 but may soon find their status as the Premier League’s financial powerhouse under threat from Manchester City and Liverpool, says Deloitte.
Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain complete the Football Money League top five, with City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea the other English teams in the top 10.
DELOITTE FOOTBALL MONEY LEAGUE: THE WORLD’S RICHEST CLUBS
Barcelona saw revenue hit record levels as they won LaLiga for the eighth time in 11 years. Off the pitch, a change in commercial strategy regarding licensing and merchandising contributed to a huge €150m uplift.Matchday Revenue: €159.2m (£140.4m)
Broadcasting Revenue: €298.1m (£262.7m)
Commercial Revenue: €383.5m (£338.0m)
Total Revenue: €840.8m (£741.1m)
2. Real Madrid
Real Madrid fell behind Barcelona as revenue grew just one per cent in the first year without Cristiano Ronaldo. The club finished third in LaLiga and only made the last 16 of the Champions League.Matchday Revenue: €144.8m (£127.7m)
Broadcasting Revenue: €257.9m (£227.3m)
Commercial Revenue: €354.6m (£312.5m)
Total Revenue: €757.3m (£667.5m)
3. Manchester United
Manchester United benefited from a return to the Champions League yet saw revenue grow just six per cent. Stagnating fortunes on the pitch has also left their status as England’s richest club looking vulnerable.Matchday Revenue: €120.6m (£106.3m)
Broadcasting Revenue: €120.6m (£106.3m)
Commercial Revenue: €317.2m (£279.6m)
Total Revenue: €711.5m (£627.1m)
4. Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich recorded a five per cent rise in revenue as they won a seventh straight Bundesliga. The German giants’ growth was driven by a 20 per cent rise in broadcast income but matchday revenue fell by 11 per cent.Matchday Revenue: €92.4m (£81.4m)
Broadcasting Revenue: €211.2m (£186.2m)
Commercial Revenue: €356.5m (£314.2m)
Total Revenue: €660.1m (£581.8m)
5. Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain banked double-digit percentage growth across all three major revenue streams as they won a fifth French league title in six years. The biggest increase came in commercial income, which rose by €50m.Matchday Revenue: €115.9m (£102.2m)
Broadcasting Revenue: €156.6m (£138.0m)
Commercial Revenue: €363.4m (£320.3m)
6. Manchester City
Even back-to-back Premier League titles and a domestic treble could not stop Manchester City falling one place. But they did record revenue and a new kit deal with Puma is likely to see income rise again this year.Matchday Revenue: €62.4m (£55.0m)
Broadcasting Revenue: €287.2m (£253.2m)
Commercial Revenue: €261.0m (£230.0m)
Total Revenue: €610.6m (£538.2m)
Champions League glory and a tireless pursuit of Manchester City domestically helped Liverpool enjoy a bumper year. Revenue grew 17 per cent thanks to £41m and £35m uplifts in broadcast and commercial revenue.Matchday Revenue: €94.5m (£83.3m)
Broadcasting Revenue: €299.3m (£263.8m)
Commercial Revenue: €210.9m (£185.9m)
Total Revenue: €604.7m (£533.0m)
8. Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham overtook Chelsea and Arsenal to become London’s richest club after posting record revenue. That stemmed from their run to the Champions League final and the move to their new 62,000-seater home.Matchday Revenue: €92.5m (£81.5m)
Broadcasting Revenue: €276.7m (£243.9m)
Commercial Revenue: €151.9m (£133.9m)
Total Revenue: €521.1m (£459.3m)
Chelsea slipped one place as revenue remained virtually unchanged. Broadcast and matchday revenue fell by €4m and €7m respectively owing to the Blues’ absence from the Champions League.Matchday Revenue: €75.6m (£66.6m)
Broadcasting Revenue: €227.1m (£200.2m)
Commercial Revenue: €210.4m (£185.4m)
Total Revenue: €513.1m (£452.2m)
Signing Cristiano Ronaldo helped Juventus grow revenue by 17 per cent as they won Serie A for an eighth year in a row. The Ronaldo factor led to greater brand visibility and more merchandise sales.Matchday Revenue: €65.6m (£57.8m)
Broadcasting Revenue: €208.5m (£183.8m)
Commercial Revenue: €185.6m (£163.6m)
Total Revenue: €459.7m (£405.2m)
How Barcelona became the world’s richest club
Barcelona’s ascent to the top of the rich list came as they won the Spanish title for an eighth time in 11 years and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Their €150m surge in revenue was rooted in off-field activity, however, and the club’s decision to bring merchandising and licensing operations in-house instead of farming them out to third parties.
This affords Barca greater control of how its products are sold and allows them to report associated income on a gross rather than net basis.
While not suitable a strategy for all clubs, rivals may take note.
“Bringing operations in-house was probably the biggest impact on their commercial revenue, which increased by 19 per cent to €383.5m,” Izzy Wray of Deloitte’s Sports Business Group told City A.M.
“Other clubs will see those big numbers and may look to do an analysis of their own commercial structures to see whether it would make sense to bring operations in-house as well.”
The Catalan club are the first to record revenue of more than €800m and and their commercial revenue alone was greater than the total income of any club outside the top 11 on Deloitte’s list.