Football’s Top Earning Clubs

Source: Statista

Football has long been big business. With huge revenues to be found off the pitch, success on it isn’t necessarily essential for bringing in the big money. Despite winning two cups, by their standards Manchester United had a poor 2016/17 season – only managing to finish sixth in the league. Nevertheless, they are the club with the largest revenue haul for the second year running. As Deloitte’s latest ranking shows, their total of €676.3m (£581.2m) keeps them above La Liga and Champions League winners Real Madrid, if only by a whisker.

Another example of on-pitch fortunes not reflecting the bank balance would be Arsenal. Despite the Gunners finishing fifth in the league and crashing out of the Champions league in the round of 16, they are sitting pretty in sixth place on this list thanks to €487.6m (£419m) in revenue. Their failure to qualify for the Champions League in 2017/18 will have consequences in this year’s accounts though.

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Will the Sanchez Deal Prove Toxic for Man Utd?

Source: Statista

Professional footballers receive massive wage packets and those plying their trade at Manchester United are obviously no exception. Alexis Sanchez has just sealed a lucrative switch from Arsenal to the Red Devils and according to media reports, the Chilean superstar is going to be the club’s highest earner by a considerable distance. Those reports claim the Chilean will get a whopping £450,000 a week in exchange for his services.

Unsurprisingly, your Pogbas and your Lukakus have something to say about that. Reports earlier this week claimed that Paul Pogba in particular was livid with the fact that Sanchez is set to earn more than Lukaku and De Gea combined with sources claiming the French midfielder demanded a vast increase in his weekly salary. Even though it looks like the former Gunner will be laughing all the way to the bank, his transfer could conceivably create a toxic atmosphere in the United dressing room. It’s a funny old game, isn’t it?

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The Billionaire Club Bosses

Source: Statista

Billionaires are buying sports clubs all over the world. According to a report by UBS and PwC, more than 140 top sports clubs are owned by just 109 billionaires. Sixty of those super-rich club owners are from the U.S., 29 from Asia and 20 from Europe. The average age of the wealthy sports baron is 68 years, with an average wealth of $5 billion under their wings.

In the U.S., more than two thirds of the NBA and NFL teams, and half of the MLB teams, are owned by billionaires. In the UK, almost half (9 out of 20) Premier League soccer clubs are governed by billionaires, the report states. While Chinese tycoons were erstwhile investing a lot in European soccer, they have now turned to their own market, investing heavily in China itself.

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Most Lucrative Boxing Matches

Critics argue the big boxing matches have become nothing but glitzy show events drowned in money. The latest fight of Floyd Mayweather against Conor McGregor stands to be the most lucrative fight as of yet, grossing at an half a billion dollars in total revenue, which probably is a conservative estimate for this bout. Though the actual prize money the boxers take home is lower, the below chart indicates that Mayweather won’t have to worry about his pension. The 40-year-old claims the fight on Saturday night in Las Vegas was his last one.

Infographic: Most Lucrative Boxing Matches | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

Manchester United Tops Football Rich List

Manchester United may not be on top of the Premier League table right now, but in purely commercial terms, the team from the North West of England is once again on top of the world. Thanks to a 33 percent revenue increase in the 2015/16 season, the 20-time English league champions leapfrogged Barcelona and Real Madrid to the top of Deloitte’s Football Money League 2017. Manchester United earned $736 million over the course of the past season, largely thanks to the club’s appeal as a global sports brand. The arrivals of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and charismatic manager José Mourinho in the past summer will likely help United to make even more money off the football pitch, even if it looks like they won’t be competing for the Premier League title this season.

In its annual ranking, published for the twentieth time this year, Deloitte ranks the largest football clubs around the world in terms of (non-transfer) revenues including matchday revenue (mostly ticket sales), revenue from broadcasting rights as well as revenue from other commercial activities (e.g. sponsorship deals, merchandising).

Interestingly, Manchester United also topped the Money League table when it was first published in 1996/97. Back then, the club’s revenue amounted to roughly $110m, illustrating how vastly the financial landscape of professional football (or soccer) has changed since the turn of the millennium.

This chart ranks the world’s largest football clubs in terms of non-transfer revenue generated in the 2015/16 season.

Infographic: Manchester United Tops Football Rich List | Statista
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Major League Soccer’s Best-Paid Players

Source: Statista

The Portland Timbers won the MLS Cup at the end of the season but who were the biggest winners off the pitch? Kaka of Orlando City SC was the best-paid player in the MLS with a salary of $7.2 million. Two players from Toronto FC, Sebastian Giovinco and Michael Bradley came second and third with $7.1 and $6.5 million respectively. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, two stalwarths of the English game have also enjoyed a lucrative time in the states, earning about $6 million each.

This chart shows the annual salary of MLS players in 2016.

Infographic: Major League Soccer's Best-Paid Players | Statista
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