Report: Man City tops Deloitte Football Money League 2023

Manchester City retain their position at the top of the Money League and for the second time were the club to generate the highest revenue in world football. This caps off a rapid rise up the rankings, with the club having only broken into the top five for the first time in 2015/16. This growth has been fuelled by an increase in commercial revenue (up €65m to €373m in 2021/22), which is a new Premier League record.

Liverpool were the biggest movers among the consistent clubs included in this and last year’s edition of the Money League. The club rose four places (from 7th to 3rd) to achieve its highest position in Money League history, and in doing so overtook Manchester United for the first time, on the back of a run to the UEFA Champions League Final 2022. It was also only one of five clubs to report over €100m in matchday revenue, which was the first time the club had done so, as fans returned to football stadia in their masses. This is expected to increase further in coming years, with the expansion of the Anfield Road Stand due to be completed prior to the 2023/24 season.

For the first time since 2018/19 a new club entered the Money League top 10, with Arsenal replacing Juventus (who fell from 9th to 11th), primarily by virtue of the significant matchday revenue generated, which was almost three times that of the Serie A club in 2021/22. Whilst Juventus and other Italian clubs played a significant portion of their season under the crowd restrictions noted previously, it also reflects a significant return on the investment into the Emirates stadium and goes some way to justifying the infrastructure investment being explored by clubs such as Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, the Milan clubs and Everton, who are looking to future-proof their businesses.

In contrast to Liverpool and Arsenal, FC Barcelona reported one of the sharpest falls in the rankings, with the club dropping from 4th to 7th. This was primarily due to a 13% decline in broadcast revenues, which were partially attributed to underperformance in UEFA club competitions in comparison to previous years, as the club competed in the second tier of UEFA club competition in 2021/22 for the first time since the 2003/04 season (by virtue of the club dropping out of the UEFA Champions League Group stage). Furthermore, the growth in their commercial revenue was significantly outpaced by other clubs (€7m compared to €65m for Manchester City, €37m for Liverpool, €47m for Manchester United, €46m for Paris Saint-Germain and €33m for Bayern Munich).

The club commenced a multi-year commercial agreement with Spotify, covering the men’s and women’s team shirt and training kit sponsorship as well as naming rights for the Camp Nou, in the 2022/23 season. It remains to be seen how this and the sale of the club’s ‘economic levers’ (which did not impact revenue in 2021/22), including the sale of both 49.9% of its ‘Barça Licensing and Merchandising’ company and 25% of its domestic La Liga rights over a 25-year period, impacts the club’s position in the Money League in upcoming editions.

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