Manchester City top Deloitte Money League for the FIRST time ever

Manchester City overtake Barcelona to top the Deloitte Money League for the FIRST time ever as the Premier League champions continue to flex their financial muscles despite impact of Covid-19 pandemic

  • Manchester City reported £571.1million in annual revenue last year
  • The Premier League champions are only fourth club to top Deloitte’s list
  • City’s revenue increased by 17 percent in 2021 despite coronavirus pandemic
  • Barcelona slipped from first to fourth following financial turmoil  

Manchester City have topped Deloitte’s list ranking the richest clubs in the world by revenue for the first time in their history after overtaking Barcelona, who have fallen three spots.

The Premier League champions were top of the accountancy firm’s Money League for the 2020-21 season with a total annual revenue of £571.1million (€644.9million), just ahead of Real Madrid’s £537.7million. 

City came in sixth place in the Money League a year ago and are only the fourth club after local rivals United and Spanish giants Real and Barcelona to top Deloitte’s ranks.

Manchester City have topped the Deloitte Money League for the first time ever

The meteoric rise from a financial standpoint has followed the transformation of the club’s fortunes on the pitch, with City going from long-standing strugglers to English football behemoth following the Abu Dhabi takeover back in 2008.  

In the 25 years since the Money League was first introduced following the 1996-97 season, City’s revenue has grown from £12.7million to £571.1million.

The Premier League leaders are joined in the top-10 by another five English clubs, with United in fifth place, Liverpool and Chelsea seventh and eighth respectively and Tottenham in 10th place. 

The Premier League champions reported a 17 percent increase in revenue last year

Real Madrid retained their second place in the Deloitte’s Money League for a second year

Bayern Munich finished third ahead of Barcelona, with Paris Saint-Germain in sixth and Juventus in ninth.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic altered the picture from the previous year, with United and Spurs both losing a spot and Liverpool dropping down two positions.

Of the top-10 clubs, only City, PSG, Chelsea and Juventus recorded an increase in revenue from the previous year. 

Barcelona, however, were the biggest loser on the Money League, sliding from first place to fourth – their lowest ranking since 2014 – following a summer in which their well-publicised financial problems forced them to part ways with Leo Messi. 

But Barcelona slipped from first to fourth after their financial issues forced them to part ways with Leo Messi last summer (above) 

Overall, Deloitte estimated that Money League clubs have missed out on well over €1.7billion of revenue over the past two seasons seasons as a result of Covid-19.  

Yet football has proved more resilient than other industries and while lockdowns contributed to the lowest matchday revenue in the 25 years of the publication,  broadcast revenue hit a record high £3.7billion across Europe’s top leagues.

Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, the Premier League remained as strong as ever from a financial standpoint, providing 11 of the top 20 clubs on Deloitte’s list – the highest proportion ever.  

The Premier League remains by far the richest league in the world, contributing 11 clubs to the top-20 of Deloitte’s list – the highest proportion ever

And new broadcasting rights are set to grow the gap between the Premier League and its European counterparts even more from the 2022-23 season

Dan Jones, Head of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, expects the gap between the Premier League and its European counterparts to grow even wider in the near future. 

‘Premier League broadcast rights values are set to pull further away from the other “big five” European leagues from the 2022-23 season,’ he said. 

‘With the rollover of existing domestic arrangements on the same terms and the total value of international rights reportedly set to increase by 30 percent and exceed the value of domestic rights for the first time.’ 

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