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Barcelona knock Real Madrid off top of Money League

LONDON (Agencies): Barcelona have overtaken Real Madrid to top the Deloitte Football Money League for the first time and become the first club to break the 800 million euros (686 million pounds) revenue barrier.

The 23rd edition of the table shows an 11% rise in combined revenues, excluding transfer fees, for the top 20 clubs who between them enjoyed turnovers of a record 9.3 billion euros for the 2018-19 season. Real Madrid have dropped to second, generating income of 757.3 million euros, while Manchester United remain third.

Arsenal have slipped out of the top 10 or the first time. Barcelona’s rise to the top with income of 840 million euros is a clear sign of ‘a club adapting to changing market conditions’ by bringing merchandising and licensing activities in-house, according to Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.

“Barca have reduced the reliance on broadcast revenue and focussing on growing revenues within it’s control,” he said. “With the club expecting further growth of 30 million euros in commercial revenues and total revenue of almost 880 million in 2019-20 we expect them to retain the top spot next year.

“Barca are on course to achieve its stated ambition to be the first one billion Money League club in years to come.” Bayern Munich remain in fourth position with Paris St Germain entering the top five ahead of Manchester City.

Champions League winners Liverpool are seventh, one place ahead of Tottenham Hotspur who they beat in the final. Tottenham’s 521.1 million euros income pushes them ahead of Chelsea and Arsenal, making them the capital’s highest revenue generating club for the first time since 1996-97.

Once again the Premier League’s eye-watering television broadcast deals have enables it to dominate the Money League with eight clubs inside the top 20.

Spain’s La Liga has three and the Bundesliga have three while Serie A has four but Juventus are the highest-placed in 10th. Napoli have moved into the top 20.

Juventus’ revenue increased 17% to 459.7 million euros, helped by the arrival of talismanic Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Apart from PSG, only Olympique Lyonnais of France’s Ligue 1 are on the list.

While Jones says revenue growth in Europe’s big soccer leagues continues to outpace other sectors, mainly because of broadcasting rights, there is a marked concentration of increase at the top with the combined revenue of the top five clubs more than the combined total of the clubs ranked 10th to 20th.

“What is notable in this edition of the Money League is the apparent continuing emergence of ‘mini-leagues within the Money League’,” he said. “The largest revenue-generating clubs continue to pull away from the rest.” The highest-ranked club outside the big five leagues is Ajax Amsterdam in 23rd place.

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