Dubai – MENA Herald: The 20 highest earning football clubs in the world generated $8bn of revenue last season, according to the 19th edition of the Football Money League from Deloitte, the business advisory firm.

Real Madrid top the Deloitte Football Money League for the eleventh year in a row, having generated $693.5m in the 2014/15 season. Commercial revenue was the main driver of this growth, with matchday income also seeing an increase. Broadcast revenue, however, fell slightly during the season.

Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, comments: “Real Madrid once again delivered a strong financial performance, buoyed by growth in their commercial revenue. The planned redevelopment of the Santiago Bernabéu will help to continue the growth in matchday income in the coming years.

“FC Barcelona’s on-pitch achievements in the 2014/15 season have translated to financial success. The European champions have climbed to second place at the expense of Manchester United, with revenue growth across all areas of the business – matchday, broadcast and commercial.”

Manchester United, although slipping one place to third, remain the highest revenue-generating club from the Premier League, earning $624.4m. Chelsea fell one place to eighth, with Arsenal climbing to seventh. Manchester City and Liverpool are the other two Premier League clubs in the top 10, placing sixth and ninth respectively.

Tim Bridge, Senior Manager at Deloitte, comments: “Despite a reduction in revenue year-on-year, the fact that Manchester United remain in the top three of the Money League demonstrates the underlying strength of the club’s business model. The return to Champions League football, as well as the commencement of a number of significant commercial partnerships, will only strengthen the business in 2015/16. With this in mind, it would not be surprising to see United top next year’s Money League for the first time in 12 years.”

For the second year in a row, five of the top 10 clubs have Middle Eastern shirt sponsors, and commercial deals and finance from the region continues to shape the Money League top 10. Paris-Saint Germain have climbed one place to fourth with revenue of $577.9m, following increases in matchday and commercial income. Manchester City meanwhile maintained sixth place in this year’s edition.

Dan Jones commented that: “PSG’s fourth place finish represents the highest ever Money League position for a French club, however, they will need strong commercial revenues and performances in the Champions League, to maintain a top five position once the new Premier League broadcast deal starts in 2016/17.

“Manchester City’s development of commercial relationships, coupled with a capacity increase at the Etihad Stadium leaves the club within striking distance of a first top five Money League position next year. However, a successful run in the Champions League may be needed to allow them to overtake fifth place Bayern Munich.”

A 10% strengthening of sterling versus the euro helped English clubs. A record nine Premier League clubs are ranked within this year’s top 20, one more than in last year’s edition. In their first appearance since 2005/06, West Ham United have once again joined the world’s revenue-generating elite, as revenues rose to $193.4m. Premier League clubs now dominate the top 30, with 17 of those clubs having played in the Premier League during the 2014/15 season.

Bridge adds: “Despite disappointing performances by Premier League clubs in recent European competitions, they continue to lead the way in revenue terms. With the new round of Premier League broadcast deals set to deliver greatly improved domestic broadcast revenues in 2016/17, we expect to see Premier League clubs cementing their places in the top 30 in the coming years, with potential for some of these to climb into the top 20.”