A decade ago, the world of football looked a lot different – at least when it comes to club values and money. Although the top performers from a financial point of view have remained the same, the bottom of the table looked more diverse than it is today. Celtic, for example, were the 17th on Deloitte’s list of the most lucrative football clubs in the world, beating the likes of Valencia and Marseille with its revenue of more than 110 million Euros. Alas, things change. The sponsorship money paid by various sportswear manufacturers and sports betting groups like Betway goes where most of the attention is. Today, there are 14 English teams in the Football Money League, and Celtic are no longer among them – not for a decade. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at 2018’s most profitable football teams.
5. Manchester City
The Sky Blues were the fifth highest-earning team this year, with revenues of a little over EUR 560 million. With Etihad Airways as a shirt sponsor, Pep Guardiola as their manager, and Vincent Kompany as a captain, the team won the 2017-2018 Premier League season, and its midfielder Kevin De Bruyne won the Player of the Year. The team has maintained its position compared to last year – in the next, it might climb further up the ladder.
4. Bayern Munich
The FCB has a long history and a massive fan base both in Germany and beyond. A decade ago, the team was the 7th most lucrative one – today, it’s the fourth, and has been so for the second year much of the growth of the team’s revenues is attributed to current President Uli Hoeneß. Hoeneß seems to be doing a good job as a general manager and president – after spending almost two years behind bars for tax evasion, he was re-elected as the president of the club with 97% of the votes cast.
Barcelona is considered one of the main economic powerhouses in Catalonia – it is the third most lucrative football club this year, slipping one position compared to last year. The fans’ love for the team seems not to have been put off by last year’s events – the club requested its match on the day of the infamous independence referendum to be postponed but was instead played behind closed doors.
2. Real Madrid
Those who said Spanish football would be “dead” if Catalonia separated itself from the country (and took Barca with it) seem to be wrong, as Real Madrid was last season’s second most lucrative football clubs with revenues of more than EUR 674 million. The club climbed one position compared to last year.
1. Manchester United
For the second year in a row, Manchester United has been the most lucrative football club in the world, with revenues of over EUR 676 million, and the second most valuable sports team in the world (according to Forbes Magazine, it has a total value of more than $4.1 billion, second only to NFL side Dallas Cowboys).