Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona top football rich list

Spain’s footballing duopoly of Real Madrid and Barcelona top Deloitte’s list of Europe’s highest-earning clubs yet again, maintaining their lead over English moneybags Manchester United.

Actually the oft-maligned English Premier League comes out of it pretty well because it negotiates its Sky TV deal centrally and shares the money around whereas in Spain TV rights are negotiated individually, meaning that Real Madrid and Barcelona will enjoy the lion’s share of the money and the top two positions in the league (Barcelona are currently top) for ever presumably.

Also the only way any club is likely to break into this elite is by finding a rich patron, as Chelsea first and then Manchester City have done in England. In the table below Man City is the highest riser from 20 to 11 (figures for 2009/10 against 2008/9) which seems a bit peculiar as they’re not in the Champion’s League yet but presumably gate money, TV appearances and merchandising are all up since the sheiks from Abu Dhabi took over.

1(1) Real Madrid £359.1m (329); 2(2) Barcelona 325.9 (299.9), 3(3) Manchester United 286.4 (268), 4(4) Bayern Munich 264.5 (237.2), 5(5) Arsenal 224.4 (215.5), 6(6) Chelsea 209.5 (198.6), 7(10) AC Milan 193.1 (161), 8(7) Liverpool 184.5 (177.8), 9(9) Inter Milan 184.1 (161), 10(8) Juventus 167.8 (165.5), 11(20) Manchester City 125.1 (83.7), 12(15) Tottenham 119.8 (108.7), 13(11) SV Hamburg 119.7 (120.2), 14(13) Lyon 119.6 (114.4), 15(14) Marseille 115.5 (109.1).

It’s also interesting that four of Europe’s great capitals are not represented in the top 15: Berlin, Paris, Rome and Moscow. There must be an opportunity there for some crazy oligarch or oil well owner.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.