Manchester City have taken top spot in Deloitte’s Money League for the first time, but Manchester United have recorded their lowest ever position in the 25th annual report into football finances.
City have hit top spot after recording revenues of £571.1million for the 2020/21 season and they become just the fourth club to ever lead the Money League. The Blues saw revenues rise by £89.5million and that helped climb from sixth to top, ahead of Real Madrid in second, Bayern Munich in third and Barcelona in fourth.
The report stated: “Since the first year of the Money League, covering the 1996/97 season, Manchester City’s revenue has grown from £12.7m to £571.1m over 25 years.”
The picture is less encouraging at Old Trafford, with revenues of £491.4million, a fall of around £15million from the previous season, leaving them in fifth in the table — although they still generated the second highest revenue of Premier League clubs. United’s position in the top five could come under threat next season, with their 2020/21 revenues putting them just €1.8m ahead of Paris Saint-Germain.
The authors of the report also sound a more ominous note about the long-term direction of travel in Manchester.
“Manchester City – who ranked above Manchester United for the first time in the 2022 edition of the Money League– are also ahead when compared over a two year period,” the report stated.
“This period saw City generate greater commercial revenue than that of its cross-city rivals, possibly signalling a long feted ‘changing of the guard’ in terms of the revenue-generating ability of top Premier League clubs.”
The figures reported in this edition of the Money League include a full campaign affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, but the report praised the resilience of clubs.
“The 2020/21 football season began and ended, where the 2019/20 season left off: with the devastating impact of Covid-19 continuing to be felt around the world,” it said.
“Football, and sport more widely, was resilient, but not immune with clubs balancing obligations in respect of health and safety in order to fulfil fixtures and provide entertainment and ultimately complete the 2020/21 season. Despite these ongoing challenges the football industry continued to demonstrate its resilience offering respite to many in such testing times.
“In this edition, we have continued to publish the Money League rankings as usual, but the impact of Covid-19 is stark with the lack of fans in stadia unsurprisingly causing the lowest matchday revenue in the 25 years of the publication, whilst broadcast revenue is at a record high as a result of deferrals in distributions related to the delayed 2019/20 season (completed in the 2020/21 financial year).”
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