For the eighth straight year, Spanish giant Real Madrid has remained soccer’s highest earning team, staying ahead of bitter rival Barcelona in the so-called “Football Money League” compiled by accounting firm Deloitte every year.
The La Liga clubs both saw their income rise by 7 percent during the 2011-2012 season, with Real making $683 million and Barca $643 million. Third-place Manchester United of the English Premier League saw its revenue decline 3 percent to $507 million. United was followed by German giant FC Bayern Munich with $490 million, UEFA Champions League winner Chelsea, with $413 million, and Arsenal, with $372 million. EPL champion Manchester City rose five places to seventh with revenue of $366 million. AC Milan finished eighth, followed by Liverpool, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, Tottenham, Schalke, Napoli, Marseille, Lyon, Hamburg, Roma and Newcastle.
"There is minimal economic growth in Europe yet football clubs are growing an average of 10 percent," said Dan Jones, lead partner of Deloitte's sports division. "An unchanged top six emphasizes the fact that these clubs have some of the largest fan bases and hence strongest revenues, in both domestic and international markets."
The top 20 clubs in Deloitte’s list compiled $6.4 billion in 2011-2012, a 10 percent rise from the previous season’s top 20.