The Premier League champions have dropped from the top 3 of Deloitte’s Football Money League, a list of the continent’s top revenue generating clubs, for the first time in the report’s history.
Although the club increased its revenue haul to €423.8m (£348m) for 2012/13 season, up from €395m (£325m) for the previous campaign, it was knocked from third spot by Champions League winners Bayern Munich, who increased their revenue to €423.8m for the season.
Manchester United continued to expand its roster of international sponsors during the period signing deals with PepsiCo and Russian airline Aeroflot and Apollo Tyres. Despite the club’s faltering on-pitch form under new manager David Moyes – the club is languishing 14 points off the Premier League top spot in seventh place and was knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Sunderland last night (22 January) – Deloitte says their commercial savvy will stand them in good stead.
Austin Houlihan, senior manager in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, says: “Whilst Manchester United drop one place in the Money League, a number of the club’s recent commercial deals will boost revenue in 2013/14, so this fall to fourth place may only be temporary.”
Elsewhere, Spanish giants Real Madrid and FC Barcelona retained the top 2 spots, boosting their revenue to €518.9m (426.2m) and €482.6m (£396.4m) respectively. The latter has been historically reluctant to exploit their brand appeal but has ramped up efforts to monetise their huge global appeal signing a £25m (£20.5m) a season deal, their first corporate shirt sponsorship deal in their 113-year history, with Qatar Airways in March.
Of the rest of English football’s top earners – Manchester City and Liverpool saw revenue increase in the period, while Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea experienced reverses (see table).