Real Madrid topped Deloitte’s money league for the fifth consecutive year (Getty Images)

(WFI) Seven EPL clubs made the top 20 of the Deloitte Football Money League, despite the weak position of sterling.

Sterling, described as a “basket case” currency last week by economist Jim Rogers, fell 21% against the value of the Euro between June 2007 and June 2009. This seriously impacted on the position of English clubs against their rivals in the Euro-zone.

Real Madrid topped Deloitte’s money league for the fifth consecutive year, becoming the first club to boast revenues in excess of €400 million ($544 million).

“Real Madrid’s 10% increase in revenue to €401m came despite a relatively disappointing season domestically and in Europe,” said Dan Jones Partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.

“Broadcast income provided Real with its largest increase in revenue, and at €161m is now greater than the total revenue of all but the top ten Money League clubs.”

Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Barcelona were next with a €57m increase in revenues to €366m. But the massive economic disparity between Spain’s top-two and the rest of La Liga was reflected by the fact that no other Spanish club made the top twenty and only Atletico Madrid made the top 30.

Manchester United slipped to third with revenues €327 million, but if measured at 2007 levels they would top the table.
“United slip to third and, like other English clubs, were impacted by the continuing depreciation of the Pound Sterling against the Euro,” said Jones.

“The scale of this is shown by the fact that if exchange rates remained at their June 2007 level, United would be top of the Money League table.”

“Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have created a clear revenue gap between themselves and their European competitors, and look set to contest the top two positions in the Money League for the foreseeable future, particularly if the Pound doesn’t strengthen against the Euro,” added Alan Switzer, Director in the Sports Business Group. 

Despite sterling’s weakness, the strength of the EPL is reflected by the number of clubs still to make the top twenty, with a further three clubs in the next ten.

“New improved Premier League broadcast contracts, and in particular strong growth in the value of the league’s international rights, will provide a revenue boost to English clubs from 2010/11,” added Switzer.

The growing strength of German football, which has seen year-on-year increases in its already huge attendances since the country hosted the World Cup in 2006 and has witnessed several significant TV and marketing in the past couple of years, is also demonstrated. Five of its clubs – one more even than Italy – make the top 20, including SV Hamburg in eleventh place.

Despite the global economic uncertainty and the debt crisis facing several high profile clubs, Deloitte remain confident that football’s resistance to the wider economic downturn will endure.

“We continue to assert that the game’s top clubs are well placed to meet the challenges presented by the difficult economic environment,” said Paul Rawnsley, Director in the Sports Business Group.

“Their large and loyal supporter bases, ability to drive broadcast audiences, and continuing attraction to corporate partners provide a strong base to underpin revenues.”

Written by James Corbett
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