Man City surge ahead of Liverpool in ‘money league’ but £487m truth emerges


Liverpool have fallen to seventh in the list that shows the financial muscle of Europe’s biggest clubs.

The Reds, while managing the impact of the pandemic better than most, with a combined loss over the last two years of £50.8m compared to the hundreds of millions of losses accrued by their rivals, have fallen two places in the annual Deloitte Football Money League after posting revenues of £487m for 2020/21, a figure reflected in the report as €550.4m.

Liverpool’s revenues only fell by £3m year on year, and when compared to the losses suffered by rest of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ they account for just 6.5 per cent. But the focus on cost management, a season which was played behind closed doors and the full impact of the Nike deal not able to be felt due to the impact of the pandemic on retail means that the Reds weren’t able to push above the £500m barrier that they broke through in 2019 when they booked £533m in revenues after winning the Champions League.

Liverpool suffered the second biggest drop in their placing of the clubs in the top 20, with Barcelona’s fall from first to fourth after seeing revenues shrink from €713.4m to £582.1m. But the drop doesn’t tell the full story for the Reds who, despite their fall in placings, they have actually gained ground on many of those above them in terms of revenues by being able to hold their position steady.

Real Madrid had revenues of €691.8m in 2020 that turned into €640.7m in 2021; Bayern Munich delivered €634.1m which turned into £611.4m in 2021, while Manchester United’s €580.4m of revenues in 2020 became €558m by 2021. Liverpool’s was a decline of one per cent compared to Barcelona’s fall of 18 per cent, Real Madrid’s fall of seven per cent, and Manchester United and Bayern Munich’s fall of four per cent.

The reason for the drop of two places for the Reds was that two of world football’s most wealthy clubs, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, were both able to considerably grow their commercial revenues for 2020/21.

City and PSG, both of whom have previously been investigated by UEFA for alleged commercial breaches relating to over-inflating the value of related party transactions, saw their revenues rise by 17 per cent and three per cent, respectively, with City leaping from a position of sixth in the Money League in 2020 to first in 2021 with revenues of €644.9m compared to €549.2m last year.

Manchester City added a number of new commercial partners during 2020/21, several of them from the United Arab Emirates, while their journey to the final of the Champions League helped to drive revenues even higher.

Everton fell one place to 18th, although their figures don’t include the latest set of accounts which are due to be published before the end of March, while there were four new entries into the top 20; Leicester City, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.