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11 of World’s 20 Richest Clubs are in Premier League – Deloitte

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For the first time in history more than half of the world’s 20 richest clubs are from the Premier League, according to the latest Deloitte annual Football Money League report.

It is the broader financial superiority of the Premier League which makes for the most eye-catching news, with 11 of its clubs now in the top 20. It is the first time a single country has made up more than half the teams in the money league.

Manchester City remain top of the list, compiled by the accountancy firm Deloitte, with revenues of £619m from the 2021-22 season – just ahead of Real Madrid (£604m) in second. However, the most notable rise sees Liverpool (£594m) climb four places to third and rise above Manchester United for the first time in the report’s 27-year history.

Liverpool increased their revenues by £106.9m last season, largely off the back of additional broadcast income from reaching the Champions League final and being one of a handful of clubs to report more than £95m in matchday incomes, as fans returned following the pandemic.

“That dominance is unprecedented,” Zal Udwadia, assistant director in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said. “It is really down to the investment you are seeing in the Premier League, its global appeal and the growth in the broadcast rights. Other leagues have explored measures to bridge that gap, including private equity investment, but it is growing.

“And if you expand the rankings to include the top 30, there are 16 Premier League clubs in there. It is only a matter of time that all 20 top-flight English teams feature in the top 30.”

Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal, who lie in eighth, ninth and 10th place respectively, also make the top 10, while West Ham, Leicester, Leeds, Everton and Newcastle are all in the top 20.

Outside of the Premier League, Barcelona and Real Madrid have yet to recover revenue to their pre-pandemic levels, with the Spanish clubs’ revenues down €203m (£177m) and €43m (£38m) respectively from 2018-19.

Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said the results raised questions about whether the Premier League would ever be caught. “The Premier League continues to appeal to millions of global followers and its member clubs have a greater revenue advantage over international rivals,” he said. “The question now is whether other leagues can close the gap, likely by driving the value of future international media rights, or if the Premier League will be virtually untouchable, in revenue terms.

“Commercial partner, fan and investor interest in the Premier League appears higher than ever before,” he added. “While this suggests optimism for further growth, continued calls for greater distribution of the financial wealth of English clubs across the football system and the impact of a cost-of-living crisis makes it all the more important for the game’s stakeholders to keep a clear focus on their responsibility as stewards of leading clubs.”

Deloitte’s report was published just hours after the outgoing Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli warned that the dominance of the Premier League was bad for the rest of Europe. “I believed and still believe that European soccer needs structural reforms to tackle the future,” said Agnelli, one of the architects of a failed attempt to set up a breakaway European Super League together with other top clubs in 2021.

“Otherwise we are heading for inexorable decline for football in favour of a dominant league, the Premier League, which over a few years will attract all the European talent and marginalise the others.”

According to Deloitte, the total revenue for the world’s top 20 men’s clubs in 2021/22 was £8bn, an increase of 13% compared to 2021 – powered by the return of supporters after two Covid-hit seasons and the rise in commercial revenue from English clubs.

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