Football rich list: Five things Deloitte's money league told us

Manchester United players celebrate
Man Utd have commercial deals with companies in developing markets such as China, South Korea & Nigeria

Deloitte's annual football rich list once again sees Real Madrid sit top of the pile, but what can the findings tell us about the English game?

Fourteen Premier League clubs make this year's top 30 and, with bidding now open on the next tranche of television rights, the forecast is for that number to rise still further in the next few years.

Here, we take a closer look at some of the report's findings.

Man Utd could top the list in two years

Results on the pitch may not quite be what they once were, but off it Manchester United have undergone stunning commercial growth in recent times, chiefly a world-record shirt sponsorship deal with General Motors and a £750m 10-year kit deal with Adidas.

No Champions League football this season will affect United's standing in next year's list, but a return to the elite next season, allied to their commercial might and TV income, could, in Deloitte's estimation, see them at number one in 2017.

The British are coming

British clubs are liberally scattered among the top 30, the legacy of the Premier League's £3bn TV rights income for the period 2013-16. Eight Premier League sides are ranked in the top 20 - up from six a year ago - while British clubs now occupy 14 of the top 30 berths.

Bojan Krkic
Stoke raised eyebrows with the signing of Bojan Krkic - and can now boast a place on Deloitte's rich list

Those who remember Swansea and Stoke scrapping in English football's lower leagues in the recent past would be forgiven for doing a double take at seeing them in 29th and 30th on Deloitte's list. Of last season's Premier League outfits, only Hull City, Crystal Palace and West Brom, plus relegated Cardiff, Fulham and Norwich, are absent.

Winning isn't everything

As Manchester United's return to the top two proves, a trophy-filled season is not crucial to making waves on the money list. Likewise, Liverpool rose from 12th to ninth despite missing out on silverware, while Tottenham - sixth in the league last season - also moved up the order.

In Spain, Atletico Madrid could only climb from 20th to 15th on the back of winning La Liga, although Barcelona's rare season without success played some part in their drop from second to fourth, the first time since 2007-08 the Catalans have not featured in the top two.

England's 14 money league representatives (revenues for 2013-14 season, in euros)
2. Manchester United (518m)20. Everton (144.1m)
6. Manchester City (414.4m)21. West Ham United (137.4m)
7. Chelsea (387.9m)22. Aston Villa (133m)
8. Arsenal (359.3m)25. Southampton (126.9m)
9. Liverpool (305.9m)27. Sunderland (124.8m)
13. Tottenham Hotspur (215.8m)29. Swansea City (118m)
19. Newcastle United (155.1m)30. Stoke City (117.6m)

Magpies in rude health

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has his detractors, but Deloitte's list shows the retail tycoon is not a billionaire for nothing. Although success in major competitions remains elusive, Newcastle's large stadium and strong commercial deals puts them in a respectable 19th place on the list.

An average attendance of 50,688 at St James' Park was the third highest in the Premier League last season, while Deloitte notes the club's commercial income increased by an "impressive" 50%, to £25.6m in 2013/14. "Newcastle United are commercially in the strongest position in their history," the report adds.

Stadiums have capacity to frustrate

Although champions of England twice in the last three years, Manchester City remain outside the top five on this particular list. Deloitte notes that while City's revenue is up 28% - the largest percentage increase of any club in the top 10 - the main barrier stopping them breaking into the top five is matchday revenue.

Chelsea and Liverpool earn more matchday income despite smaller capacities, but plans to increase the capacity of the Etihad Stadium to about 62,000 will improve City's strength in this area.

Etihad Stadium
The 48,000 capacity of the Etihad Stadium is keeping Man City outside the top five, Deloitte say

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