Bayern Munich overtake Manchester United in revenue generated league
But English side likely to reclaim top spot thanks to new TV and commercial deals
Real Madrid remain the top-earning club in Europe for the ninth consecutive year, despite a trophyless season. Photograph: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
The Premier League is not the only table that will make grim reading in the Manchester United boardroom, after Deloitte’s annual Money League showed the club had been leapfrogged by Bayern Munich in terms of revenue generated.
Throughout United’s continuing travails in managing the difficult shift from the Alex Ferguson era to that of David Moyes, much has been made of their ability to continue to generate enough income to help smooth the transition. The annual report, which measures the income of the biggest clubs in Europe, shows United fell out of the top three in 2012-13 for the first time since the list was compiled in 1996-97.
United topped that first list but have been overtaken by first Real Madrid and then Barcelona in the past nine years, largely as a result of the ability of the Spanish giants to negotiate their own TV deals.
Bayern Munich’s stellar 2012-13 season, in which the German club won the treble and dominated European football, helped boost their revenues by 17% to £396.6 million (€485,078,287). That growth allowed them to leapfrog United, who earned £363.2 million.
Prize money from winning the Champions League, together with match-day income from a sold-out Allianz Arena and a focus on commercial deals, including the renewal of a shirt sponsorship deal with Deutsche Telekom, all helped.
However, United are likely to again overtake the German champions in next year’s Money League, as the new £5.5bn Premier League television deals and a series of commercial deals including a £337 million contract with Chevrolet are factored in for the first time.
Real Madrid stay the top-earning club in Europe for the ninth consecutive year, despite a trophyless season, with revenues of £444.7 million, ahead of Barcelona with £413.6 million. Annual revenue has become a far more important barometer of a club’s likely success with the introduction of Uefa’s financial fair play rules, which seek to force clubs to spend only within their means. Critics fear the rules will in effect lock in the existing order, with only clubs able to generate large commercial and matchday income able to compete.
Under the rules, clubs must break even within an allowable leeway of €45 million over the first two-year evaluation period. That figure then drops to €45 million over three years and then €30 million over three years on a rolling basis. But it has raised questions over Uefa’s ability to police its rules, a quandary demonstrated by Paris Saint-Germain’s surge into fifth in the Money League.
The French club’s revenue has almost quadrupled to £341.8 million since 2010-11 and almost doubled in the past year alone – taking it from 10th to fifth place. That figure includes commercial revenue of £208.5 million. As well as raising question marks about the likely future competitiveness of the French top division, the figures will generate fresh scrutiny of the engine of that commercial growth – sponsorship deals with companies linked to its Qatari owners, including a deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority worth up to £164 million a year.