Football: Old Trafford's millions lead the rich list

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The Independent Online
MANCHESTER UNITED were confirmed as football's pace-setters off the pitch as well as on it yesterday when they were officially proclaimed the richest football club in the world.

In the Deloitte & Touche Rich List, which was based on the turnover of clubs worldwide during the 1997-98 season (the last full season for which figures are available) United finished first with a figure of pounds 87.9m. That figure put around them 20 per cent ahead of Spain's Real Madrid in second (pounds 72.2m), Germany's Bayern Munich in third (pounds 65.2m) and Juventus of Italy in fourth (pounds 55.3m).

United's achievement was all the more remarkable in that they did not win a single trophy during the survey year. In next year's list, which will cover last season's treble-winning year, United's turnover is expected to rise to pounds 111m.

The survey, which took into account revenue from gate receipts, television, sponsorship and merchandise, is dominated by European clubs, with no representatives in the top 20 from outside the continent. Of the nine British sides that figure, United are followed by Newcastle in fifth place (pounds 49.2m), Chelsea in ninth (pounds 47.5m), Liverpool in 10th (pounds 45.5m) and then Arsenal (13th), Rangers (16th), Aston Villa (17th), Tottenham (18th) and Leeds (20th). Chelsea, Villa and Leeds all moved into the top 20 for the first time this year.

"This is great news for the Premier League," Jason Zillwood, a senior manager in Deloitte & Touche's football industry team, said. "The top clubs are managing their businesses effectively. There is a lot of cash coming in from television revenue, but grounds are packed week in and week out as well."

United's television revenue amounted to pounds 16.2m in the 1997-98 season, or 19 per cent of the total turnover, but that figure is likely to be dwarfed soon by the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, and Juventus, Milan and Internazionale in Italy. The top three clubs in Italy have signed TV deals earning them about pounds 35m a year from the current season onwards because they deal largely on an individual basis with broadcasters. The situation is being mirrored in Spain.

"Unless the structure of the Premier League TV deal changes in 2001, English,clubs just won't be able to compete with that soon," said Michael Hann, the editor of FourFourTwo, the magazine which co-produced the report.

The Premier League currently has a collective TV deal which has been protected by the courts and shares out revenue on a relatively even basis. The next deal is could raise revenues as high as pounds 1.5bn, with a variety of terrestrial, cable and satellite broadcasters likely to be used.

While clubs could also have more freedom to show their own highlights packages if not live games as well, it may still not be enough to keep United on top of the next rich list, although at least the current structure is raising the turnover of many English clubs rather than just a few as in Spain.

Not that that will be any comfort to the England's less well-off sides. United might have turned over pounds 87.9m in the year of the survey, but Watford turned over just a 20th, or pounds 3.9m. And Colchester, the club with the lowest turnover of clubs surveyed in this country, turned over a grand total of pounds 717,000. Which, for a year's work, is not lot, especially when you consider that Manchester United's 90 minutes of work in Japan yesterday netted them more than double that.

BRITAIN'S WEALTH LEAGUE

Ranking according to 1997-98 turnover; place in previous season in brackets; turnover in pounds m

11 (1) Manchester United pounds 87.875

12 (2) Newcastle United pounds 49.177

13 (7) Chelsea 1pounds 47.482

14 (3) Liverpool 7pounds 45.457

15 (6) Arsenal pounds 40.391

16 (4) Rangers pounds 32.526

17 (10) Aston Villa pounds 31.769

18 (5) Tottenham Hotspur pounds 31.189

19 (11) Leeds United 2pounds 28.265

10 (9) Celtic pounds 27.821

11 (14) West Ham United pounds 24.017

12 (12) Everton pounds 22.665

13 (22) Derby County pounds 20.059

14 (23) Wimbledon 5,6pounds 19.774

15 (17) Blackburn Rovers pounds 19.356

16 (13) Leicester City 3pounds 19.210

17 (18) Sunderland pounds 18.825

18 (8) Middlesbrough pounds 18.685

19 (20) Coventry City pounds 17.400

20 (16) Sheffield Wednesday pounds 16.303

21 (26) Bolton Wanderers 2pounds 15.711

22 (19) Manchester City pounds 15.272

23 (21) Wolverhampton W pounds 12.911

24 (46) Barnsley pounds 12.694

25 (24) Southampton pounds 12.520

26 (15) Nottingham Forest pounds 11.227

27 (29) Queen's Park Rangers 8pounds 9.756

28 (34) Sheffield United 2pounds 8.536

29 (27) Birmingham City pounds 8.337

30 (25) Crystal Palace 4pounds 7.856

31 (32) West Bromwich Albion pounds 7.460

32 (30) Norwich City pounds 6.910

33 (36) Hearts pounds 6.426

34 (31) Ipswich Town pounds 6.222

35 (28) Bradford City 5pounds 6.030

36 (35) Stoke City 5pounds 5.882

37 (40) Charlton Athletic pounds 5.770

38 (33) Aberdeen pounds 5.308

39 (37) Dundee United pounds 4.559

40 (64) Bristol City pounds 4.533

41 (39) Portsmouth 4pounds 4.351

42 (38) Swindon Town pounds 4.184

43 (42) Preston North End pounds 4.058

44 (50) Reading pounds 3.966

45 (44) Huddersfield Town pounds 3.947

46 (54) Watford pounds 3.895

47 (49) Kilmarnock 5pounds 3.808

48 (68) Fulham pounds 3.742

49 (45) Burnley pounds 3.732

50 (43) Hibernian pounds 3.680

51 (62) Walsall 5pounds 3.508

52 (65) Oxford United 4pounds 3.298

53 (58) St Johnstone 4pounds 3.233

54 (52) Wycombe Wanderers pounds 3.127

55 (59) Port Vale pounds 3.044

56 (47) Tranmere Rovers pounds 3.032

57 (56) Stockport County pounds 2.996

58 (66) Grimsby Town pounds 2.992

59 (55) Luton Town 4pounds 2.955

60 (69) Gillingham pounds 2.930

61 (41) Millwall pounds 2.923

62 (61) Blackpool pounds 2.690

63 (71) Bury pounds 2.547

64 (57) Carlisle United pounds 2.464

65 (67) Dumfermline Athletic pounds 2.380

66 (60) Southend United pounds 2.322

67 (82) Bournemouth 9pounds 2.243

68 (53) Oldham Athletic pounds 2.179

69 (76) Crewe Alexandra pounds 2.111

70 (77) Bristol Rovers pounds 1.994

71 (72) Wrexham pounds 1.919

72 (51) Chesterfield pounds 1.907

73 (48) Peterborough United 5pounds 1.886

74 (73) Motherwell pounds 1.765

75 (78) Notts County pounds 1.706

76 (63) Plymouth Argyle pounds 1.588

77 (75) Leyton Orient pounds 1.567

78 (81) Cardiff City pounds 1.559

79 (70) Brentford pounds 1.547

80 (85) Scunthorpe United pounds 1.447

81 (87) Lincoln City pounds 1.188

82 (84) Exeter City pounds 1.173

83 (86) York City pounds 1.127

84 (90) Wigan Athletic pounds 1.106

85 (95) Rotherham United pounds 1.065

86 (100) Torquay United pounds 1.058

87 (96) Hull City pounds 1.013

88 (80) Swansea City pounds 0.986

89 (98) Cambridge United pounds 0.900

90 (97) Rochdale pounds 0.875

91 (93) Darlington pounds 0.806

92 (94) Scarborough pounds 0.775

93 (92) Shrewsbury Town pounds 0.755

94 (91) Colchester United pounds 0.717

-- -- Barnet n/d

-- -- Brighton & Hove Albion n/d

-- -- Chester City n/a

-- -- Doncaster Rovers n/a

-- -- Hartlepool United n/d

-- -- Macclesfield Town n/d

-- -- Mansfield Town n/d

-- -- Northampton Town n/d

Notes

1 Travel agency and property sales/leasing have been excluded from the Chelsea turnover.

2 Items disclosed as discontinued operations have been excluded from turnover.

3 Turnover represents proforma 12 month figures.

4 1998 figures are not available therefore 1997 turnover figures have been used.

5 Turnover includes transfer fees received or net transfer fees which are not separately identifiable.

6 Turnover represents a 13-month period.

7 Turnover represents a 15-month period.

8 Turnover includes the turnover of Wasps Rugby Club.

9 Turnover represents a 14-month period

n/d The club has not disclosed the turnover figure as it has filed only abbreviated accounts.

n/a The latest accounts available are from 1995-96 season.

WORLD'S WEALTH LEAGUE

Ranked according to 1997-98 turnover in pounds m

11 Manchester United (Eng) 87.9

12 Real Madrid (Sp) 72.2

13 Bayern Munich (Ger) 65.2

14 Juventus (It) 55.3

15 Newcastle United (Eng) 49.2

16 Barcelona (Sp) 48.6

17 Milan (It) 48.5

18 Internazionale (It) 48.2

19 Chelsea (Eng) 47.5

10 Liverpool (Eng) 45.5

11 Borussia Dortmund (Ger) 41.5

12 Lazio (It) 41.1

13 Arsenal (Eng) 40.4

14 Parma (It) 33.4

15 Paris Saint-Germain (Fr) 32.9

16 Rangers (Sco) 32.5

17 Aston Villa (Eng) 31.8

18 Tottenham Hotspur (Eng) 31.2

19 Roma (It) 30.7

20 Leeds United (Eng) 28.3

Stats: Deloitte & Touche/FourFourTwo survey

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