Arsenal have slipped down a place in Deloitte’s annual Football Money League report despite a 14 per cent increase in annual revenue.
The Gunners estimated revenue of €290.3 million (£234.9m) for the period 2011/12 means they now sit sixth in the table of Europe’s football financial juggernauts with Chelsea’s Champions League success last May the catalyst for their rise above the Gunners into fifth.
Roman Abramovich’s side are understood to have made €322.6 m last year – opening a not insignificant €32.2 million gap on their North London rivals – Bayern Munich sit 4th (€368.4m), Manchester United 3rd (€395.9m), Barcelona 2nd (€483m) while Real Madrid (€512.6m) have become the first club in history to break the half billion Euro mark.
As has been the case in recent years Arsenal remain the only club for whom matchday revenue is the biggest source of income with £95.2 million (€117.7m) representing 32.7% of the overall figure.
As the club have made clear in recent months steps have been taken to improve Arsenal’s commercial operation with secondary partner deals with Bharti Airtel and Malta Guinness boosting revenue by 13% to £52.5 million (€64.9m).
These figures will receive a further lift in the next two years thanks to the £150 million shirt and stadium sponsorship deal with Emirates, while a renewed kit deal with Nike (or alternative) should add an additionally significant sum to the pot.
Nevertheless, despite a step in the right direction, the Gunners still trail Manchester United in this department by £65 million – a figure which could widen further given the Red Devils new shirt deal with Chevrolet and recent proclivity for signing up sponsors for everything from tyres to noodles.
Aside from Liverpool (9th, €233m) television revenue from participation in the Champions League continues to be incredibly important for all clubs in Deloitte’s top ten, however, they predict that up to half of the top 20 sides could come from England in the coming years following the incredibly lucrative sale of Premier League broadcast rights to Sky and BT from 2013/14 onwards.
Whilst the Money League covers clubs’ revenue performance, the report also notes an increased focus within European football on clubs achieving more sustainable levels of expenditure relative to revenues; a state of affairs Deloitte encourage given UEFA’s financial fair play break-even requirement which will apply at the start of next season.8,730 views