Ranked: Barcelona open record gap over Real Madrid in Deloitte Money League - in pictures
Spanish champions topped the 2018/2019 earnings table with €840.8 million, a record €83.5m ahead of Real Madrid
Spanish champions Barcelona have chalked up an a victory over bitter rivals Real Madrid after the Catalan club opened up a record gap between first and second place in the latest Deloitte Football Money League.
Barcelona topped the 2018/2019 earnings table with €840.8 million (more than Dh3.4 billion), a record €83.5m ahead of Real Madrid, while Manchester United, the highest-placed British club in third, earned €711.5m last term.
In fourth were perennial German champions Bayern Munich, who banked €660.1m while French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain placed fifth with €635.9m.
Consulting firm Deloitte warned that United's status as the Premier League’s highest revenue generating club was under serious threat from rivals Manchester City and Liverpool - who between them are the reigning English, European and world champions - for the first time in next year’s edition of the Money League.
Tottenham Hotspur are eighth, the club’s highest ever position following last season's run to the Champions League final, and have overtaken Arsenal and Chelsea to become London’s highest revenue generating club for the first time since 1996/97. Deloitte calculated Spurs' revenues at €521.1m.
Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said Barcelona leading the pack is down to bringing merchandising and licensing activities in-house.
"Barca are a clear example of a club adapting to changing market conditions, reducing the reliance on broadcast revenue and focusing on growing revenues within its control," he told the Press Association news agency.
"The club's commercial operation generated €383.5m euros of revenue, which is more than the total revenue of the 12th-placed club in this year's Money League.
"With the club expecting further growth of €30 million in commercial revenues and total revenue of almost €880m euros in 2019/20, we expect them to retain the top spot in next year's edition."
United's place as number one English club - a position they have held since the first Money League survey in 1996/97 - is in peril because they are forecasting reduced revenues of between £560-580 million for 2019/20, partly because they failed to qualify for this season's Champions League.
City, who are sixth in the list (€610.6m) while Liverpool are seventh (€604.7m), trail United by just under €101m.
An indication of how much ground Abu Dhabi-backed City have made up is that they were €200 million adrift of United 10 years ago.
"United have been the top English club since we started the Money League but that could come under a bit of pressure when we do it in 2021," Jones said.
"That will cover this season when Liverpool are having a tremendous season on the pitch, so we think there's a possibility of United losing that number one position.
"Part of that will ride on how the rest of this season goes, if City or Liverpool go deep into the Champions League.
"If you think about where we were 10 years ago, the idea that City would overhaul United in financial terms would have seemed far-fetched."
Updated: January 14, 2020 04:16 PM