MADRID — Real Madrid Football Club and rivals Barcelona proved that passion for Spanish soccer remains undimmed despite the country’s financial crisis, cementing their place as the highest revenue earners in the world’s most popular sport, business services group Deloitte said yesterday.
Report by Reuters
Madrid, who won the Spanish league last May for the 32nd time, became the first club in any sport to generate more than €500 million in annual revenues, Deloitte said in its annual Football Money League for 2011-2012.
The perennial Spanish rivals retain loyal domestic support, attracting crowds in excess of 80 000 despite Spain’s recession and high unemployment. A global fan base also helps them to sign up lucrative international sponsorship deals. The Spanish duo have the advantage of doing their own television deals rather than selling collectively through a league as their main European rivals do. The downside is that it has added to a polarisation in Spanish soccer where many other clubs are struggling to stay afloat.
England’s Manchester United were in third spot behind the two Spanish giants despite a fallow season in which they failed to win a trophy for the first time since 2005.
Germany’s Bayern Munich were fourth, followed by Champions League winners Chelsea and Premier League rivals Arsenal.
“An unchanged top six emphasises the fact that these clubs have some of the largest fanbases and hence strongest revenues, in both domestic and international markets,” said Dan Jones, a partner in the sports business group at Deloitte.
TOP 20: (All figures in millions of euros)
1. Real Madrid (Spain) 512,6
2. Barcelona (Spain) 483
3. Manchester United (England) 395,9
4. Bayern Munich (Germany) 368,4
5. Chelsea (England) 322,6
6. Arsenal (England) 290,3
7. Manchester City (England) 285,6
8. AC Milan (Italy) 256,9
9. Liverpool (England) 233,2
10. Juventus (Italy) 195,4
11. Borussia Dortmund (Germany) 189,1
12. Inter Milan (Italy) 185,9
13. Tottenham Hotspur (England) 178.2
14. Schalke 04 (Germany) 174.5
15. Napoli (Italy) 148,4
16. Olympique Marseille (France) 135,7
17. Olympique Lyon (France) 131,9
18. Hamburg SV (Germany) 121,1
19. AS Roma (Italy) 115,9
20. Newcastle United (Eng) 115,3