LONDON – Real Madrid and Barcelona are soccer's biggest moneymakers for the third straight year and look set to top their rivals for the foreseeable future.
The annual review of soccer finance by Deloitte shows Madrid topping the list for the seventh straight year with revenue of $636.5 million for the year ending June 30, an increase of 9 percent from the previous 12 months.
English champion Manchester United was again third with $487.2 million, the highest of four English clubs in the top 10. Bayern Munich was fourth at $426.6 million, with Arsenal, Chelsea, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Liverpool and Schalke next.
One more year at the top for Madrid would equal United's No. 1 streak from 1997-2004 but the accountancy firm says on-field success could yet push Barcelona into first place next year.
Barcelona trails Madrid by seven points in the Spanish league but its revenue increased 13 percent to $599 million and it could rise further if the team retains the Champions League title.
Defending Spanish and European champion Barcelona receives about $40 million per season in a sponsorship deal from the Qatar Foundation and earned $68 million from the Champions League, beating United 3-1 in last season's final at Wembley Stadium.
It can already count on $4.65 million toward next year's total after winning FIFA's Club World Cup in December.
"This may allow it to narrow, or even bridge, the gap to Real," Deloitte sports business group partner Dan Jones said. "However, relative on-pitch performance, particularly in the Champions League, may determine next year's top two Money League placings.
United is certain to trail again next season after its early elimination from this season's Champions League, only the second time it has failed to progress from the group stage in 16 seasons.
Madrid and Barcelona have both advanced to the last 16 and have such earning power that even a move to collective bargaining for broadcast revenue — the model long employed by England's Premier League — is unlikely to affect their financial dominance.
Madrid earned 36 percent of its revenue from commercial activities such as merchandising and sponsorship, 26 percent from matchday income, including ticket sales, and 38 percent from broadcast agreements.
The top 20 clubs in the Deloitte list generated a combined $5.8 billion over the 2010-11 season, about 3 percent up on the previous year's $5.6 billion
Tottenham rose above Manchester City to 11th place following its run to the quarterfinals in its debut Champions League campaign, but City could leapfrog its English rival next year after six matches in this season's group stage.
Deloitte said that Brazilian clubs Corinthians and Sao Paulo, with reported revenues of between $93 million and $106 million, would only make a top 50 list.