The Deloitte Money League rankings for 2023 were released in January detailing the top 20 football teams in terms of their combined revenue streams from matchday, broadcast and commercial revenue over the 2021/22 season. Expenditures are of course a huge factor in determining how rich a club is in reality, but the revenue a club earns is an indicator of how financially comfortable a club may be.
The Deloitte Money League Rankings Highlight Premier League’s Monopoly
Manchester City recorded the highest revenue in Europe
Manchester City topped the list with a revenue of £641 million which was heavily contributed to by their Premier League victory and their run to the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League. City’s income for the current season is set to be high again as the team competes on two major fronts. Pep Guardiola’s team are competing for the Premier League title and are favourites to win the UCL in the odds on football offered at 13/8 to lift their first-ever title in Istanbul this June.
A Spanish club in UCL holders Real Madrid ranked second in the list, but another Premier League club Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool trailed narrowly behind in third. The Merseyside outfit recorded a total revenue of £616 million after fighting for all four major competitions last season. Over half of the clubs that made the list were Premier League clubs and eleven clubs were included ranging from Manchester United to Leeds United.
All of the clubs from other European nations that made the list are regulars in continental competition and are huge clubs historically. The fact clubs from the bottom half of the Premier League can compete with teams that play in the UCL and Europa League in a majority of seasons shows how financially strong the league is in general.
Premier League leads TV revenue
Premier League clubs receive huge income streams in the form of television revenue regardless of their league finish. The revenue the league receives globally from the sale of the rights to broadcast Premier League fixtures moved past £10 billion last year, in comparison La Liga’s deal with Movistar and DAZN in 2021 was worth less than £5 billion. In terms of revenue that reaches the clubs’ bank accounts, in 2021/22 £2.6 billion was available to be shared between the Premier League clubs compared to £1.2 billion in the case of La Liga.
The biggest difference is how the money is shared between the clubs, La Liga’s structure of allocating the funding is heavily biased towards the strongest performing clubs. Last season Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid shared around a third of the prize money that was split between all of the clubs. In the case of the Premier League, the top three clubs shared around a fifth of the total revenue.
In leagues such as La Liga, the revenue distribution is designed to keep the strongest clubs rich and to maintain a hierarchy. But the Premier League’s decision to allocate funds more evenly has led to the league holding a financial monopoly on other teams around Europe. West Ham finished seventh in the Premier League yet recorded a higher revenue stream than Serie A winners AC Milan.
The Premier League has realised that sharing funding more equally improves the competitiveness of the domestic league and prevents an internal monopoly of one single team dominating a nation as has been seen in other top five European leagues over the years. The league’s strategy has revolutionised the game in England and other nations must follow suit if they are to improve their national leagues.