Let’s take this opportunity to round up the top 10 most lucrative football clubs in the world right now.
Before we move forward though, we should mention that the list we are going to post here will sort clubs in terms of their total revenue.
Of course, even without reading a single sentence further you would already know that the list would get dominated by Europe’s heavyweight clubs.
No one should need any more reasons to understand we are in a new era of sports.
In this era, football players are insanely rich.
Now, in order to make that happen, football tournament organizers have to make sure that the sport is pulling in a lot of money.
Because of that approach, we have no choice but to live through an era where everything in the sport is decided by money.
There is not a corner left in this sport that money has not affected in a big way.
Think about it.
If you look at the transfer market today, fewer and fewer players are showing any kind of loyalty to clubs.
All of them feel the need to ‘feed’ their families even though a single year’s worth of any top player’s salary is pretty good to feed one’s family for life.
We frequently see clubs paying a large amount of money for defenders.
Taking their cue from attacking players, defenders can now command up to 100 million in transfer fees.
Many football clubs have paid this sort of money for their defenders time and time again.
All of this means that if a club wants to stay competitive at the top level of football then it will have to make sure its finances are in order.
Without money, there is no way for a club to stay competitive at the highest level.
Each transfer window routinely brings us bigger and bigger transfer fees.
Almost every transfer window, you see Barcelona, PSG, and Real Madrid breaking records.
We’re not sure about this, but we won’t think we will see a day where transfer fees will start to drop.
They will continue to increase as more and more clubs will try to get the best players for the largest amount of money.
On that note, there was a time in football when a sum of $60 million was considered big.
Now, even the most standard defender in his prime would cost that much.
Huge transfer sums have become the norm rather than the exception.
Because of that, it is also true that more and more players are earning higher and higher salaries.
Their contracts grow almost every year and become more lucrative as they reach their peak performance years.
But what about football clubs themselves?
Which football club is, in reality, the richest of them all?
Fortunately, we do not have to go through tons and tons of publicly available documents to find the answer to that question anymore.
The Deloitte Football Money League does all the hard work for us.
Just recently, it came out with its 22nd edition.
The Football Money League is now able to rank the top 20 richest clubs in the world by revenue.
Deloitte published its findings in its latest edition of Football Money League back in January 2019.
The report shows that Real Madrid is the richest club in the world of football.
Los Merengues managed to generate around $833.6 million in the 2017-2018 season alone.
In the process of doing so, Real Madrid managed to set a brand new record.
So where did Deloitte get its numbers?
Well, the firm extracted revenue figures from the yearly financial statements of the group and/or company which owns each given football club.
Apart from that, the firm also used other direct sources of revenue each club tapped in the 2017-2018 season.
We are aware of the fact that there are actually a multitude of methods using which one can measure the financial performance of a given club.
However, Deloitte has used the metric of club revenue.
The firm considers it the most comparable and easily available measure of a given club’s financial performance.
So who came second?
Well, Los Blancos marginally beat out its fierce rivals Barcelona that managed to generate around $765 million.
Manchester United came third with $738 million.
Now, even though the difference of revenue between Real Madrid and Barcelona is a small one it is actually the second-largest difference between the clubs since the ranking began.
Real Madrid generated $68 million more than Barcelona.
We have already mentioned that The Football Money League has published 22 annual reports.
Real Madrid has topped 12 of those annual reports.
However, this is the first time Real Madrid has topped the rankings since the 2014-2015 football season.
That makes a lot of sense since Real Madrid won the Champions League two seasons ago because of which they would have generated significant revenue.
Readers should remember that in 2017-2018 Real Madrid won its third straight Champions League.
Under Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid won 4 Champions League trophies in a total of 5 years.
As far as commercial growth is concerned, Real Madrid trumped every other club with around $60 million.
The La Liga giants increased its revenue via merchandising and sponsorship deals.
In addition to that, Real Madrid also earned a lot of money from its international pre-season tour to various different countries.
Now, for some bad news.
Each and every club that made it to the top 20 richest clubs list hail from Europe.
More precisely, from the top 5 leagues in Europe.
Even more specifically, a total of 9 out of 20 clubs that made it to the top 20 rankings hail from England’s Premier League.
Italy managed to have four of its teams in the top 20 richest clubs in the world while Spain could only get three in there.
France made it mark with one while Germany had three teams in the top 20 richest clubs in the world according to Deloitte Football Money League report.
Bayern Munich, the German champion, positioned itself right below Manchester United in fourth place.
In fifth place, we have Manchester City which is actually an Abu Dhabi-owned club.
Below Manchester City, we have PSG (a Qatar-owned club) and then we have Liverpool from the English Premier League.
Liverpool is followed closely by three other English Premier League clubs in the form of Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham.
Real Madrid has also become the first club in history to cross three-quarters of a billion (in euros) mark.
Of course, Real Madrid can thank its performances in the season 2017-2018 along with all the previous success on and off the pitch.
Winning three Champions League in a row has definitely helped Real Madrid get ahead of clubs like Manchester United and Barcelona in terms of revenue generation.
As with pretty much all things in all sports, success on the field always translates to success off the field in terms of commercial deals and other areas of revenue generation.
Here is the complete list of the top 20 richest clubs in the world right now.
- Real Madrid with $832 million
- Barcelona with $765 million
- Manchester United with $738 million
- Bayern Munich with $697 million
- Manchester City with $630 million
- PSG with $600 million
- Liverpool with $569 million
- Chelsea with $560 million
- Arsenal with $486 million
- Tottenham with $474 million
- Juventus with $437 million
- Borussia Dortmund with $351 million
- Atletico Madrid with $337.44
- Inter with $311.28 million
- Roma with $277.13 million
- Schalke with $270.26 million
- Everton with $236.01 million
- Milan with $230.24 million
- Newcastle with $223.37 million
- West Ham with $219.38 million