Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid generated the most revenue – €831.4 million ($905.6 million) – out of all men's soccer clubs in 2022-23, according to the latest edition of the annual Deloitte Football Money League.
Real reclaimed the top spot in the revenue-generation table for the first time since 2017-18, taking it back from English Premier League (EPL) champions Manchester City (€826 million), owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group, who had been top of the pile for the last two editions of Deloitte’s annual report.
The switch took place despite City’s revenues amounting to a club record, after winning the prestigious and lucrative UEFA Champions League pan-European competition last May.
From the 2021-22 revenues, Real increased their income year-on-year (YoY) by €118 million.
The rest of the top five in Deloitte’s revenue-generation analysis were – in order – Paris Saint-Germain (€697.2 million), Barcelona (€695.8 million) – up from seventh in 2021-22 – and Manchester United (€648.5 million).
The top 20 clubs worldwide in terms of revenue during 2022-23 saw their total income rise by 14%, amounting to a record €10.5 billion. On average, therefore, their revenues each amounted to over €500 million.
Commercial revenue came to €4.4 billion, while match day-related income was €1.9 billion. Broadcast revenue, which had represented the single largest stream for clubs since 2016, only amounted to €4.2 billion last season, meaning that slot has now been taken by commercial income.
Indeed, that sector saw 17 of the top 20 clubs record a year-on-year revenue increase, with sponsorship income levels having improved after a period of decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased retail sales and a rise in stadiums hosting concerts and other entertainment events post-pandemic were also contributing factors.
In terms of broadcast income, meanwhile, the 2022-23 season mostly fell within existing domestic broadcast cycles across the top European leagues, meaning there was no real capacity for serious growth.
The biggest drop for any club came from Liverpool, with the EPL side falling from third to seventh after their revenue decreased slightly and came to €682.9 million.
Out of the top 20 (who all come from the traditional Big Five European soccer leagues in England, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France), Liverpool, West Ham United, and Spain’s Atletico Madrid were the only trio of clubs to see their income levels drop.
From the list, eight clubs come from the EPL, four from Serie A in Italy, three from Spain’s LaLiga, three from the Bundesliga in Germany, and two from France's Ligue 1.
This actually represents a greater balance than the 2021-22 table, where three other EPL teams – Leicester City, Leeds United, and Everton – featured. In the case of Leicester and Leeds, both of those clubs have now been relegated out of the top tier.
Eintracht Frankfurt, Napoli, and Marseille are the new entrants for 2022-23.
Tim Bridge, a lead partner in the Deloitte Sports Business Group, has said: “Another record-breaking year for Money League clubs represents the ongoing financial might of the football industry. A high demand for live sport is pointing towards further growth for commercial and matchday revenues, in particular.
“As clubs appear to no longer be able to rely on exponential broadcast revenue growth, creating a more commercially focused business model will support them to achieve greater control over their financial stability. This may include developing new merchandise, or non-match day events such as concerts to create new commercial offerings.”
The 2022-23 Football Money League report also includes an analysis of the 15 highest-generating women’s soccer clubs in the main European leagues (excluding contributions from associated men’s teams).
Barcelona Femeni topped that last, generating €13.4 million, a 74% rise from 2021-22.
The other teams in the top five are Manchester United Women, Real Madrid Femenino, Manchester City Women, and Arsenal Women.
The average revenues for the 15 women's clubs (except PSG Feminine, who did not provide figures) came to €4.3 million, a YoY increase of 61%. Of this average figure, 58% came through commercial income across the teams.
The women’s sport lead at Deloitte’s Sport Business Group, Amy Clarke, commented: “Significant levels of financial growth were recorded in the 2022/23 season across the top tiers of European women’s football. A rise in the number of women's matches playing at clubs’ main stadium boosted matchday revenues, while increased viewership and individual partnerships helped to accelerate the commercialization of the game.
“Women’s football is beginning to tell the tale of growth, but that growth is not confined by a single business model. Each club is exploring its own unique way to maximize revenues within the current structure of the game.”