Football

Man United top of money list

Manchester United are back on top of the Deloitte Football Money League for the first time since 2005, but the pound's fall against the euro means they may struggle to beat Barcelona and Real Madrid next year.

Now in its 20th year, the Deloitte study ranks the world's richest football teams by turnover during the 2015/16 season (see table below).

This year's top three of United, Barcelona and Real is the same as the first edition in 1997.

Real, who had topped the list for 11 years, were beaten to second place by Barcelona by just £87,000 (S$150,000).

United, on the other hand, have surged ahead of the pack, becoming the first football team to earn more than £500 million in a season - the club's total revenue of £515 million is almost £50 million more than Barcelona and Real each generated.

Despite United's group-stage exit from the Champions League last season and a fifth-placed finish in the Premier League under ex-manager Louis van Gaal, commercial partners continued to be drawn to Old Trafford.

Gulf Oil International signed a three-year deal last season, taking the total of company logos at the bottom of the Red Devils' website homepage to 24.

Speaking to PA Sport, the Deloitte report's author Tim Bridge said: "You can't really look past Manchester United returning to the top... because of their ability to make commercial deals that are way ahead of their peers."

Citing United's record-breaking sponsorship deals, such as a £750 million contract with Adidas, Bridge said Europe's other super-clubs are using the Red Devils as a benchmark in their commercial negotiations.

All 20 EPL clubs could make it to next year's top 30, thanks to a £5.1 billion TV deal that kicked in this season, said Bridge.

However, he expects the top three to remain the same. - PA SPORT

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