The revenue of soccer clubs are made up of three major components; broadcasting revenue, commercial revenue and match day revenue. The broadcast revenue that clubs receive come from both domestic and international competitions. Commercial revenue is derived from the revenue that is generated from merchandising and sponsorship deals. Match day revenue is derived from ticket sales at the actual games and renewal of annual memberships.
For the past seventeen years, the Sports Business Group at Deloitte has studied and profiled the top twenty highest earning soccer clubs in the world. Each year the top earning clubs are listed based on their total revenue. The Sports Business Group at Deloitte also breaks down the makeup of total revenue and calculates the amount of revenue generated by the three aforementioned components. This article lists the top ten highest earning clubs from 2012/2013 based on their match day revenue alone. The figures were detailed in the Deloitte Football Money League report that was published in January 2014.
The importance of match day revenue is underscored by the desire of most top clubs to increase their stadium capacity. Arsenal moved into a much larger stadium in 2006, while Liverpool have been attempting to construct a new stadium or redevelop their current stadium for a decade. Even clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona, who have some of the largest stadiums in Europe are exploring expansion in the name of increasing their match day revenue. The clubs who generated the most match day revenue the previous season were from the English, Spanish, French and German leagues. Here are the top 10 match day revenue generating clubs from 2012/2013.
10. Tottenham Hotspur – $67.18 Million
Starting off the top ten in match day revenue is the North London club Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham’s $67.18 million match day revenue of 2012/2013 declined 2% from the previous year. A major limitation for Tottenham’s match day revenue is the limited capacity of their stadium, White Hart Lane, which has a seating capacity of 36,230 and is by far the smallest stadium of any club on this list. Tottenham’s 2012/2013 average league attendance was 36,151. To increase their match day revenue, Tottenham is planning on constructing a new stadium with a seating capacity of 55,000. Tottenham also hopes to qualify for next seasons Champions League to receive more home matches and hence, more revenue.
9. Liverpool – $74.53 Million
In ninth place sit another English club, Liverpool, who play all their home matches at Anfield stadium, which has a seating capacity of 45,522. In 2012/2013, Liverpool generated $74.53 million in match day revenue, despite finishing a disappointing seventh in the league and being eliminated early in their two domestic cup competitions. In 2012/2013, Liverpool had an average league attendance of 44,758. This season has seen Liverpool emerge as surprising contenders for the league title with a real chance of qualifying for the Champions League. If they qualify for the Champions League and eventually begin their expansion of Anfield, their match day revenue will surely increase.
8. Paris Saint Germain – $76.2 Million
In eighth place, with match day revenues of $76.2 million is the lone French club, Paris Saint Germain (PSG), who play their home matches in the Parc des Princes stadium, which has a seating capacity of 48,712. The average league attendance for PSG was 43,239 in 2012/2013, a season in which they won their domestic league campaign and got to the quarter finals of the Champions League, which helped increase match day revenue by 58%. The increased success on the field and presence of some of the world’s best players has allowed PSG to raise ticket prices. To help increase their match day gains, PSG has announced plans to increase the seating capacity of Parc des Princes in order to join the clubs sitting above them on this list.
7. Borussia Dortmund – $85.39 Million
Borussia Dortmund’s match day revenue was $85.39 million in 2012/2013, a season in which the German club made the Champions League final and finished second in the league. There match day revenue increased by 32% from the previous year as a result of increased attendance and extra Champions League home games. The average attendance at Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park is 79,893, higher than any other club on this list. Capacity does not seem to be the issue at Dortmund in terms of match day revenue, but the relatively affordable ticket prices compared to other successful clubs is what sees them further down the list. Despite its large attendance, Dortmund ranks eighth in terms of match day revenue per game amongst the twenty richest clubs in 2012/2013.
6. Chelsea – $118.15 Million
Chelsea, the third English club on this list, are ranked sixth in terms of match day revenue with $118.15 million generated during the 2012/2013 season, a season that saw them finish third in the league and win the Europa League. Chelsea are ranked sixth in match day revenue despite playing in a stadium with a attendance capacity of only 41,837. The average attendance at Stamford Bridge in 2012/2013 was 41,462 for league matches. The limited capacity of Stamford Bridge limits Chelsea’s ability to match the revenue generated by the clubs above them on this list and the club are exploring options to build a new stadium or redevelop their current stadium.
5. Bayern Munich – $124.83 Million
Fifth on the list is Germany’s richest club, Bayern Munich, whose 2012/2013 match day revenue was $124.83 million. 2012/2013 was a historic season for Bayern in which the club won the league, domestic cup and Champions League. This unprecedented success led to an increase in average home attendance, with an average of 71,103 fans attending home games at the Allianz Arena, fourth amongst the clubs on this list. The continuing success of Bayern at the start of the 2013/2014 season will insure that match day revenue’s stay competitive with other clubs on this list.
4. Arsenal – $155.08 million
Arsenal are the third club situated in London to make the top ten on this list. At the beginning of the 2006/2007 season, Arsenal moved from their Highbury stadium to their current Emirates stadium. Their attendance capacity jumped from 38,419 to 60,338 and as a result they were able to generate much stronger match day revenues. In 2012/2013, Arsenal generated $155.08 million in match day revenue with average attendance at league matches of 60,080, a season in which they finished fourth. Arsenal’s match day revenue is larger than their commercial or broadcasting revenue streams. Arsenal is the only club within the top twenty richest clubs whose match day revenue is their largest source of revenue.
3. Barcelona – $168.45 Million
One of two Spanish clubs in the top ten, Barcelona rank third in terms of match day revenue with $168.45 million generated in 2012/2013. This figure represents a 1% increase from the previous season. In 2012/2013, Barcelona won the Spanish league title and made the semi-finals of the Champions League and had an average league attendance of 71,232, only behind Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United in Europe. Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium has a attendance capacity of 98,787, which is the largest stadium in Europe. Despite the large attendance figures and their large attendance capacity, increasing the stadium’s capacity to generate more revenue was one of the priorities of former board president Sandro Rosell.
2. Real Madrid – $170.45 Million
Real Madrid is the most valuable club in the world and the number one club in terms of total revenue. However, they come in second in terms of match day revenue in 2012/2013. Madrid generated $170.45 million in 2012/2013 which was 6% lower than the previous season. The average league attendance was 65,268 which was 8% lower than the season before. Their disappointing league campaign, where they finished a distant second to Barcelona, was one reason why attendance declined at their Bernabeu stadium. The Bernabeu stadium has an attendance capacity of 85,000 which makes it the third largest stadium in Europe behind the Camp Nou and Wembley Stadium. In 2013, Real Madrid started a stadium redevelopment project to increase stadium capacity to 90,000.
1. Manchester United – $182.32 Million
Despite falling to fourth in terms of total revenue in 2012/2013, England’s Manchester United, who generated $182.32 million in match day revenue, remain the top club in terms of match day revenue. United’s match day revenue increased by 11% from the previous season. United’s average league attendance was 75,530, second only to Borussia Dortmund, and was a major contributor to their increased match day revenue. Coupled with the attendance figures, United’s Old Trafford stadium hosted nine Olympic matches. United’s hold on the top spot is in jeopardy for the following season as they have performed inconsistently in the Premier League and are in danger of failing to qualify for the Champions League, which will greatly reduce their revenue capacity.
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