Real Madrid has reigned supreme in the 2022-23 Deloitte Football Money League, securing the position as the globe’s leading revenue-generating club, overtaking Manchester City. This marks a pivotal moment with commercial revenue taking center stage as the primary income source for football teams.
The Spanish powerhouse, assuming the leadership role for the first time since the 2017-18 season, reported a total revenue of 831 million euros ($907.78 million), outpacing Manchester City (826 million euros) and Paris St Germain (802 million euros).
Barcelona experienced a noteworthy ascent from seventh place in the previous year to fourth, amassing 800 million euros in revenue. Conversely, Manchester United slipped to fifth place, recording a total revenue of 746 million euros.
Real Madrid’s impressive revenue growth of 118 million euros over the previous year, constituting a 16% increase, was attributed to robust retail performance, higher stadium attendance, and the recovery of sponsorship income.
Despite Manchester City conceding the top spot they held for the past two years, the club reported its highest-ever revenue for a season, fueled by their treble-winning campaign that significantly boosted broadcast and commercial revenues.
In a notable industry shift, commercial revenue emerged as the predominant income stream for clubs, marking the first occurrence since the 2015-16 season (excluding the COVID-19 impacted 2019-20 season), with broadcast revenue experiencing a modest 5% increase.
Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, commented, “A high demand for live sport is pointing towards further growth for commercial and matchday revenues, in particular. As clubs appear to no longer be able to rely on exponential broadcast revenue growth, creating a more commercially focused business model will support them to achieve greater control over their financial stability.”
Liverpool, last year’s notable climbers, witnessed the most substantial fall in year-on-year rankings, returning to seventh place. This decline was part of a trend, with Atletico Madrid and West Ham United also experiencing drops in revenue. The Premier League now constitutes eight of the top 20, down from 11 last year, with Leicester City, Leeds United, and Everton replaced by Eintracht Frankfurt, Napoli, and Olympique Marseille.
The total revenue generated by Money League clubs in 2022-23 reached a historic high of 10.5 billion euros, marking a 14% increase over the previous year and surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
Deloitte’s Football Money League also shed light on revenues generated from women’s teams, with Barcelona retaining the top spot and reporting revenue of 13.4 million euros, a remarkable 74% increase from the previous year. Manchester United maintained second place with revenue of eight million euros, followed by Real Madrid (7.4 million euros), City (5.3 million euros), and Arsenal (5.3 million euros).
Amy Clarke, women’s sport lead in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, emphasized, “Significant levels of financial growth were recorded in the 2022-23 season across the top tiers of European women’s football. A rise in the number of women’s matches playing at clubs’ main stadia boosted matchday revenues, while increased viewership and individual partnerships helped to accelerate the commercialization of the game.”