Top 10 European football clubs by revenue

Harry Menear
- Top 10 - Dec 05, 2017

Business Review Europe takes a look at the ten European football clubs with the highest revenue, according to Forbes.

10 - Tottenham Hotspur    
The UK Premier League club’s current value is estimated at $1.05bn, with revenue reaching $310mn earlier this year, according to Forbes Magazine. Tottenham’s yearly revenue has risen by $3mn since the 2014 appointment of Argentinian manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Currently undergoing extensive renovations, which are scheduled for completion in time for the 2018/19 season, the club’s home stadium, White Hart Lane, will cost an estimated $528mn and increase seating capacity to 61,000 - 25,000 more than can currently be accommodated. Season tickets for 2018/19 range from $917 to $2244.

9 - Juventus F.C.
Based in Turin, Juventus F.C. is Italy’s most valuable football club, with a net worth of $1.258bn. The club’s annual revenue in 2017 totalled $379mn, an $11mn decrease (3%) from the 2015/16 season. Juventus has maintained a positive annual operating income of at least $20mn since 2012, when it experienced a $38mn deficit amid allegations of match-fixing.

Since then, Juventus’ operating income has risen overall, reaching a high point of $81mn in 2016. Its home field, the Allianz Stadium, has a seating capacity of 41,507. Season tickets for 2018/19 range from $1,028 to $1,908.  

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8 - Liverpool F.C.  
Liverpool F.C. is currently valued at $1.492bn, with an annual revenue of $448mn. The club’s net worth experienced a 4% decrease between the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons. 31.7% ($472mn) of the club’s value is attributed to commercial sales, with only 16.9% ($252mn) originating from matchday income, and $559mn annual income from broadcasting, making for a disproportionately high dependence on brand commercial sales for an English football team.

Liverpool’s home stadium, Anfield, has a seating capacity of 54,074, and season tickets are valued between $904 and $1,147. 

7 - Chelsea F.C.  
Chelsea Football Club has a current value of $1.845bn, and an annual revenue of $497mn. The organisation’s net valuation has grown by 11% in the past year, from a 2016 value of $1.661bn, although revenue has fallen by $8mn in that time. Chelsea’s revenue peaked in 2015 at $526mn but has grown, on average, since the club’s 2003 takeover by owner Roman Abramovich.

As of 2015, Russian billionaire Abramovich has made interest-free loans to the organisation in excess of $1bn. These have been used to purchase new training grounds, improve Stamford Bridge stadium, and furnish Abramovich’s $1.3mn private box. Stamford Bridge’s current capacity is 41,663, and 2018/19 season tickets range in price from $785 to $1,650.  

6 - Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal FC has a net worth of $1.932bn, and an annual revenue of $520mn. The organisation’s value increased dramatically between 2015 and 2016 - rising from $1.3bn to $2bn - before falling by $86mn the following year. Regardless, the club’s operating income has more than tripled since 2014, currently reported as $122mn. Arsenal’s annual income for match day sales is $495mn, accounting for 25.6% of its estimated value.

Season tickets at the Emirates Stadium (60,432 capacity) are the most expensive in the Premier League and the second most expensive in Europe, with prices ranging from $1,339 to $2,658 for the 2018/19 season. 

5 - Paris Saint-Germain  
The top-valued French football club, Paris Saint-Germain, has a net value of only $841mn, the lowest on this list. However, the club’s annual revenue is over $578mn. PSG is one of only three teams in the European top 10 to be free from debt, the others being Chelsea and Bayern Munich.The club attributes 46.9% of its net estimated value to commercial sources, also the highest on the list.

As of 2017, the club signed Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior. Valued at over $249mn, the Brazilian forward is now the most expensive player in the world. Saint-Germain also boast the highest season ticket costs in Europe, with the price of admission to the 48,583 capacity Parc De Princes reaching as high as $3,418, accounting for $134mn in annual sales.    

4 - Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich is Germany’s most valuable football organisation, valued at $2.713bn, almost $2bn more than its nearest competitor, Borussia Dortmund. The club made $657mn in revenue in the 2016/17 season, a 1% increase on the previous year. 46.3% of Munich’s value ($1.256bn) originates from commercial and merchandising sales, the largest portion of any club in Europe worth over $1bn. Since 2010, the club’s value has grown by at least $50mn, while 2015 was the high point for revenue which reached $661mn.

The BM supervisory board primarily consists of managers from prominent German companies, including Adidas, Audi, and Deutsche Telecom. The Allianz Arena seats 75,000 and season tickets cost just $138, based on 2015 prices, making them the cheapest of any large club in Europe.

3 - Barcelona F.C.
Barcelona F.C. is valued at $3.635bn, with an annual revenue of $688mn. The club boasts the second-highest broadcast-based revenue source of any football organisation in the world, taking $1.069bn in 2017. Barcelona’s annual revenue has grown steadily since 2013. The club has a long history of resisting corporate ownership, and remains staunchly in the hands of its 180,000 members.

The club’s president, Sandro Rossell, recently oversaw Barcelona’s first sponsorship deal worth $196.2mn with Qatar Airways, citing the need to compete with private and corporate investment in foreign clubs. Camp Nou, Barcelona’s home ground, has a seating capacity of 99,354.  

2 - Real Madrid
Spain’s largest football club, Real Madrid, is valued at $3.580bn and collects $688mn per annum in revenue. The club has the highest broadcasting revenue of any football organisation, at $1.183bn, and is third in Europe in commercial and merchandising sales which amount to $1.216bn.

Revenue has decreased by $58mn since 2015, and the club’s worth is currently 2% lower than 2016. The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium seats 81,044, and season tickets range from $234 to $1,930.  

1 - Manchester United F.C.
With a net valuation of $3.689bn, and an annual revenue of $765mn, Manchester United F.C. is the wealthiest, most profitable football organisation in the world. Commercial sales in 2017 accounted for $1.558bn, as the club experienced its highest revenue and net value figures ever. This net worth growth of 11% from $3.317bn in 2016 to $3.689bn in 2017 is matched in the European top 10 only by Chelsea F.C.

However, at 24%, the club also has the highest debt proportionate to its value of any club of similar size. After undergoing an 8,000-seat expansion in 2006, Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium seats 75,643, with season tickets ranging from $703 to $1,255.

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