Welcome to the 27th edition of the Deloitte Football Money League, an annual profile of the highest revenue generating clubs in world football. The publication remains the industry’s most reliable independent analysis of the top earning clubs and, for the first time, reports that the cumulative revenue of Money League clubs surpasses €10bn.
The total revenue generated by the top 20 Money League clubs in 2022/23 is a record €10.5bn, a 14% increase over the previous year and pre-pandemic levels (€9.2bn – in both 2021/22 and 2018/19).
Clubs generated record matchday revenues of €1.9bn in 2022/23, driven by the high-level of fan demand for live sport as stadia once again opened at full capacity across continental Europe. Overall, 13 of the top 20 clubs reported record matchday revenue, with the rise largely attributable to clubs in the Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and La Liga. A number of clubs competing in these leagues reported enhanced stadium utilisation relative to pre-pandemic levels, with Italian clubs AC Milan, FC Internazionale Milano and SSC Napoli all reporting double-digit increases over 2018/19 levels. With the pandemic behind us, the desire to experience live football in-stadia is at an all-time high. Many clubs are responding by focusing on delivering an enhanced fan experience, to fuel further growth.
Alongside record matchday revenue, Money League clubs also generated record commercial revenue, which totalled €4.4bn in 2022/23, a 16% growth over previous year. Commercial revenue represented the largest revenue income stream for Money League clubs for the first time since 2015/16 (excluding the COVID-19 impacted 2019/20 season). Notably, 17 of the top 20 clubs reported a year-on-year increase in commercial revenue, with growth largely attributable to the improved retail sales, revenue from non-matchday events and recovery of sponsorship income which had been impacted by the pandemic.
Money League clubs reported a comparatively modest increase in broadcast revenue (5%). The average broadcast revenue of featured Premier League clubs rose to €243m from €208m, driven by a c.30% increase in the value of the Premier League’s international broadcast rights. However, the growth in broadcast revenue across Money League clubs was limited, as the 2022/23 season fell within existing domestic broadcast cycles for the German, Italian, and French top leagues, while the start of the new domestic rights cycles in England and Spain were relatively flat compared to the previous cycles.
Broadcast revenue also received a boost as a result of club income derived from private equity firm CVC Capital Partner’s ("CVC") investment into a commercial subsidiary of Ligue de Football Professional. This provided a cumulative uplift of c.€120m to Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique de Marseille. Reportedly, a similar investment opportunity is being considered by the Deutsche Fußball Liga, which represents the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga in Germany, as the league negotiates with prospective investors over a sale of a minority stake, up to 8%, of media and commercial revenue.
Overall, Money League clubs reported an average revenue of over €500m, with commercial and broadcast revenue contributing similar amounts of €222m (42%) and €213m (40%) respectively, followed by matchday revenue (€93m, 18%).
Real Madrid have eclipsed Manchester City to become the highest revenue generating football club in 2022/23 for the first time since 2017/18. Real Madrid reported record revenue of €831m, an increase of €118m over the last year. The club’s growth is largely attributable to strong retail performance and higher stadium attendance, following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Despite a record-breaking season both on and off-pitch, Manchester City fall to second place in the 2024 ranking. The club reported its highest ever revenue for a season, €826m, driven by successful UEFA Champions League (“UCL”) and Premier League campaigns that bolstered both broadcast and commercial revenues by €50m and €26m respectively.
Paris Saint-Germain (€802m) broke into the top three for the first time in Money League history, finishing ahead of FC Barcelona (€800m) for a second consecutive year. The Parisian club reported a year-on-year increase of €148m, largely attributable to its share in the aforementioned CVC investment into the commercial subsidiary of Ligue de Football Professional, generating €83.5m for the club.
FC Barcelona were one of the biggest movers, rising to 4th from 7th. Its growth was underpinned by fans returning to stadia, record licensing and merchandising sales and rise in sponsorship revenues. Overall, this yielded a 61% and 45% increase in matchday and commercial revenue respectively.
Contrastingly, Liverpool reported the greatest fall in year-on-year rankings, moving from 3rd to 7th, and were one of three Money League clubs (alongside Atlético de Madrid and West Ham United) to report a decline in revenue in comparison to the previous season. This was due to a downturn in on-pitch results across both domestic and European competitions after the club reached three finals and finished 2nd in the league in 2021/22.
There were minimal changes year-on-year elsewhere in the top 10, with no club moving by more than one position. However, whilst the top 10 clubs have remained unchanged since 2021/22, there have been notable changes between positions 11-20, with Eintracht Frankfurt, SCC Napoli and Olympique de Marseille replacing a trio of Premier League clubs in Leicester City, Leeds United and Everton.
The make-up of the clubs ranking in positions 11 to 20 in the Money League demonstrates the seismic influence of on-pitch performance on financial revenues. For instance, Eintracht Frankfurt ranked 16th in this publication, compared to 22nd in 2021/22, by virtue of its progression to the UCL Round of 16 for the first time in its history.
Serie A clubs – AC Milan, FC Internazionale Milano and SSC Napoli – also reported significant revenue growth following strong on-pitch results, both domestically and in the UCL. SSC Napoli reported an 80% increase in broadcast revenues following their first Scudetto since 1989/90 and a strong UCL performance. Similarly, AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano reported increases of 30% and 22% having reached the semi-finals and finals of the UCL for the first time since 2006/07 and 2009/10, respectively.
Revenues of 15 of the highest revenue generating women's clubs in European football grew 61% in the 2022/23 season.
Contrastingly, Atlético de Madrid moved from 12th to 15th in the ranking following a fall of €30m in revenue from previous year. The decline is attributable to a 19% decrease in broadcast revenue compared to the 2021/22 season, owing to an earlier elimination in the UCL (Group stage exit in 2022/23 compared to quarter-final in the previous season) and a marginal fall in La Liga distributions, as a portion of revenue was utilised to service the CVC agreement.
This further underscores the importance of developing a diversity of commercial revenue streams for clubs to ensure their budgets are cushioned against lower than expected on-pitch results.
The number of Premier League clubs featured in the Money League fell from at least 10 in the past two years to eight in the 2022/23 season. However, the financial strength of English clubs is still evident. Leeds United – relegated in 2022/23 – outperformed AFC Ajax, who fell outside the top 30 clubs despite being the runners up in the Eredivisie and participating in the Group stage of the UCL, in this year’s Money League. Notably, none of the Premier League clubs ranked between 21 and 30 played in European competitions during the 2022/23 season. In contrast, all clubs outside of the Premier League ranked between 21 and 30 competed in European competitions, barring Olympique Lyonnais who benefitted from CVC’s investment into the commercial subsidiary of Ligue de Football Professional.
This accentuates the need for clubs in Europe, outside of the Premier League, to consistently participate in UEFA competitions and nurture revenue generating opportunities through non-traditional sources to compete financially.
English clubs can be expected to maintain their strong financial performance, at least in the short to medium term. New domestic broadcast deals running between 2025/26 and 2028/29 will see an average annual increase of c.4% on a like-for-like basis, despite challenging market conditions. 2023 saw Serie A and Ligue 1 fail to secure bids matching their minimum asking prices in domestic rights tenders. The former eventually agreed deals through to 2029 at a marginal decline in average annual value over the current cycle, excluding variable components, while the latter is currently in private negotiations with potential partners. With LaLiga’s current domestic rights agreements secured through to 2027, the upcoming renewal of the Bundesliga’s domestic broadcast rights will be watched with interest by its peers.
However, the high demand for live sport, and other entertainment, is pointing towards more promising growth for commercial and matchday revenue. During the 2022/23 season, revenue uplift was unlocked through more effective utilisation of stadia by clubs, including on non-matchdays, and we expect this to grow in the future with a greater focus on infrastructure investment.
A new wave of stadia development is already underway across European football, funded in various ways including through minority equity sales (Paris Saint-Germain) and ringfenced private equity investment, as seen in the Spanish and French leagues. Clubs across Europe, including Real Madrid, Manchester City, FC Barcelona, Liverpool, AC Milan, and FC Internazionale Milano are all in the process of stadia development.
Such investments illustrate clubs’ vision of treating their stadium as year-round, multi-purpose entertainment venues. At a time when broadcast rights could be plateauing, enhanced stadium revenue could help clubs drive financial growth through increased capacity and a wider entertainment offering, including live events.
Going forward, diversification of revenues may prove particularly important for European clubs to gain control over a larger proportion of their total revenue. This will enable clubs to insulate themselves from the variability of on-pitch performance, challenging macroeconomic conditions and future jolts to the football ecosystem at a time when clubs face a greater degree of financial regulation from UEFA and local governing bodies.
It is expected that the flow of investment into top tier European football will continue in the short to medium-term. Since 2022, seven of the 20 Money League clubs have received external investment, with five of the transactions relating to minority stakes. This is in line with external macro-economic trends which have impacted the availability and cost of funds for investors. While such economic conditions persist, a polarising effect may occur whereby future investment may be concentrated to lower risk, stable opportunities.
Acknowledging that financial growth is one outcome, the continued expansion of global football also presents challenges around the calendar and player welfare. Other sports, most notably rugby, have grappled with the challenge of balancing player load and commercial growth through an expanded calendar. While we will report the financial impact of such changes, there’s also a need for care in how the game is developed. Stakeholder alignment is needed to protect the quality of the on-pitch product for the long-term.
The Money League has historically consisted of European clubs, but there may be challenge to the hegemony in the near term, notably from clubs in the USA and Brazil. Inter Miami has reported a significant revenue uplift following the signing of Lionel Messi in 2023, meanwhile Flamengo were knocking on the door of this year’s top 30. With plans for the 2025/26 FIFA Club World Cup to involve 32 teams (with 20 clubs outside of the European confederation), these challenger clubs could benefit from additional revenue streams. However, the impending expansion of UCL and UEFA Europa League competitions from 2024/25 could stand to likewise strengthen the financial position of leading European clubs.
Diversity and inclusion
On average, 17% of members on Money League club boards were considered to be ethnically diverse, with a high degree of disparity among Money League clubs. Newcastle United and FC Internazionale Milano reported the most ethnically diverse board members (60%), followed by Manchester City (50%) and Tottenham Hotspur (25%). However, seven clubs reported no ethnic diversity on their boards, whilst seven did not disclose this information. When compared to last year, the corresponding Money League clubs had reported c.10% of their board was ethnically diverse.
The share of board seats occupied by women among the Money League clubs increased from c.9% in 2021/22 to c.15% in 2022/23. However, female representation still lags behind that of the biggest global corporations, as the corresponding figure for FTSE 350 was above 40%1.
Diversity has become a priority for many companies that are recognising the impact this plays on financial and operational performance. Studies have shown that there is a statistically significant correlation between greater diversity in management teams and better financial performance, with companies with greater than average diversity reporting 9% higher operating (earnings before interest and tax) margins, on average2.
2. How and Where Diversity Drives Financial Performance, Harvard Business Review
Just five Money League clubs are signatories of the United Nations’ Sport for Climate Action Framework (2021/22: four). Sustainability regulation in football and sport has been steadily increasing and may now begin to impact a significant number of club operations.
For example, since the 2022/23 season UEFA has mandated clubs participating in its competitions to have a social responsibility strategy, which must include environmental protections, in line with UEFA’s Football Sustainability Strategy 2030.
The Deloitte Football Money League was compiled by Tim Bridge, Kunal Sajdeh, Amy Clarke, Matt Cunningham, Dhruv Garg, Jennifer Haskel, Jenny Pang, and Lizzie Tantam from Deloitte’s Sports Business Group. As always, our thanks go to Henry Wong and others who have helped us, inside and outside of Deloitte’s international network. We particularly thank greatly those clubs who have taken the time to help us with the information and explanations, and we hope that you have enjoyed this edition of the publication.
There are a number of metrics, both financial and non-financial, that can be used to compare clubs, including attendances, worldwide fan base, social media following and on-pitch performance. In the Money League we record clubs’ revenue generation from matchday, broadcast rights and commercial sources.
Sources of information
We have used the figure for total revenue available to us from the annual financial statements of the company or group in respect of each club, or other direct sources, for the financial year ending in 2023 covering the 2022/23 season (unless otherwise stated). We also present figures for the financial year ending in 2022 covering the 2021/22 season, as covered in the previous edition of the Deloitte Football Money League. Comparative figures have been extracted from previous years of the Deloitte Football Money League, or from relevant annual financial statements or other direct sources.
If there is no or insufficient information available to us about the revenue of a club, then such a club is excluded from the analysis/rankings.
Key performance indicators shown for each Money League club relate to the football season ending in 2023, unless otherwise stated. UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League performances shown include participation from the final play-off round only. The UEFA club co-efficient displayed on club pages was correct as of the end of the 2022/23 season.
The proportion of females and ethnic minority individuals of the total number of members of a club’s Board(s) of Directors was disclosed to us by clubs between October 2023 and January 2024 and reflects the club’s Board(s) of Directors during the 2022/23 season. Signatories of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework are those clubs listed as such on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website (www.unfccc.int) as of 5 January 2024.
The publication contains a variety of information derived from publicly available, or other direct, sources other than financial statements. We have not performed any verification work or audited any of the information contained in the financial statements or other sources in respect of each club for the purpose of this publication. Some charts may not sum due to rounding.
Revenue excludes player/coach transfer fees, VAT and other sales related taxes. In a few cases, we have made adjustments to total revenue figures to enable, in our view, a more meaningful comparison of the football business on a club-by-club basis.
Information is derived from annual financial statements or information provided directly from individual clubs. Based on the information made available to us in respect of each club, to the extent possible, we have split revenue into three categories – being revenue derived from matchday, broadcast and commercial sources. Clubs are not wholly consistent with each other in the way revenue is classified. In some cases, we have made reclassification adjustments to the disclosed figures to enable, in our view, a more meaningful comparison of the financial results.
Matchday revenue is largely derived from gate receipts (including ticket and corporate hospitality sales) and membership revenue. Broadcast revenue includes prize money and distributions from participation in domestic leagues, cups, and UEFA club competitions. Commercial revenue includes sponsorship, merchandising and revenue from other commercial operations.
Some differences between clubs, or differences over time, may arise due to different commercial arrangements and how the transactions are recorded in the financial statements. This is due to different financial reporting perimeters in respect of a club, and/or due to different ways in which accounting practice is applied, meaning that the same type of transaction might be recorded in different ways.
The women’s team may be part of a separate corporate entity and therefore, for certain clubs, the revenue generated by the women’s team may not be included in the revenue shown in club ranking.
Wage costs includes wages, salaries, signing-on fees, bonuses, termination payments, social security contributions and other employee benefit expenses for all employees (including players, technical and administrative employees).
Revenue ranking for women’s football
The revenue ranking for women’s football covers 15 of the highest revenue generating women’s clubs in Europe for the financial year ending in 2023, covering the 2022/23 season. The revenue ranking is focussed on clubs in the women’s football leagues in Europe, including England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal, for which information was available to us. The revenue of women’s football for clubs in other key markets around the world such as Australia, Japan, Norway, Sweden and USA was not made available to us. Therefore, it was not possible to include any such clubs that might otherwise have ranked in the top 15 for revenue generation for women’s football around the world.
The revenue ranking for women’s football excludes any revenue contributions from their associated men’s club.
Given the limited automatic qualification spots for the UEFA Women’s League, qualifying for the competition has been defined as entry into the Round 2 qualifiers.
For the purpose of the international comparisons, unless otherwise stated, all figures for the financial year ending in 2023 have been translated at the average exchange rate for the year ending 30 June 2023 (€1 = GBP 0.87; €1 = BRL 5.4; €1 = USD 1.05).
In relation to estimates and projections actual results are likely to be different from those projected because events and circumstances frequently do not occur as expected, and those differences may be material. Deloitte can give no assurance as to whether, or how closely, the actual results ultimately achieved will correspond to those projected and no reliance should be placed on such projections.
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