FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Everton - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - May 23, 2021 Manchester City's Fernandinho celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the Premier League Pool via REUTERS/Dave Thompson
March 22, 2022
LONDON (Reuters) – Manchester City have topped the Deloitte Football Money League for the first time as the world’s highest revenue-generating club in a 2020-21 season affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previous leaders Barcelona dropped to fourth in the 25th edition of the table, the Spanish club’s lowest position since 2013-14.
Abu Dhabi-owned City, with revenues of 644.9 million euros ($710.81 million) and a number of sponsors linked to the owners, climbed six places.
The Premier League champions and current leaders are only the fourth club to top the Money League after Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United.
Real Madrid (640.7 million euros) were second and Bayern Munich (611.4 million) third. Manchester United were fifth, their lowest to date, Paris St Germain sixth and Liverpool seventh.
European champions Chelsea, now up for sale and with sanctions imposed on Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, were eighth.
Eleven of the top 20 clubs were from the Premier League, the highest proportion ever, with Wolverhampton Wanderers entering for the first time in 17th position.
“The impact of COVID-19 is stark with the lack of fans in stadia unsurprisingly causing the lowest matchday revenue in the 25 years of the publication,” the report said.
“Broadcast revenue is at a record high as a result of deferrals in distributions related to the delayed 2019/20 season.”
The report said Money League clubs missed out on more than two billion euros of revenue from the middle of the 2019/20 season to the end of the 2020/21 season, taking revenue back to the levels of nearly five years ago.
“Looking ahead to the 2023 Money League covering the 2021/22 season, we expect revenue of Money League clubs to reach record levels, as they bounce back from the effects of the pandemic and push towards collective revenues of 10 billion euros,” it added.
Premier League broadcast rights values were meanwhile set to pull further away from the other ‘big five’ European leagues from 2022-23.
For the first time ever all of the Money League clubs also have a women’s team.
($1 = 0.9073 euros)
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)