FC Barcelona has become the richest football club in the world for the first time, thanks to recent changes in the marketing business of the Catalan team that has provided a financial advantage over their peers.
The club, whose star players include Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, has surpassed the Spanish national rival Real Madrid in terms of revenue, according to Deloitte’s annual “money league” ranking of the highest-income clubs in the sport.
The richest teams are concentrated in the “big five” European leagues in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France, where top-level national competitions get billions of euros in transmission rights.
The best teams within those divisions also appear regularly in the Champions League, the most prestigious and lucrative tournament on the continent, where € 2 billion in media contracts and cash prizes are shared among the participating clubs.
As one of the best performing teams in Spain and Europe, Barcelona has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of these broadcast agreements and has been regularly among the highest-income clubs in the world.
However, during the 2018/19 season, the new commercial activities allowed him to earn € 840.8 million, approximately € 150 million more than in the same period of the previous year and € 83.5 million more than Real Madrid, the biggest gap between the two Best clubs since Deloitte began to compile their league.
In 2018, Barcelona formed Barça Licensing and Merchandising, in effect taking control of areas such as its retail stores and t-shirt sales worldwide. Most other clubs rely on third parties to perform these operations.
“Shows confidence and maturity, which [Barcelona] He clearly sees that his brand is very important, he will take control of that in all aspects and will drive it himself, ”said Dan Jones, head of the Deloitte Sports Business Group.
Eight of the 20 richest clubs are in England, thanks to the Premier League being the most valuable national sport competition. First level English clubs benefit from their share of £ 9.2 billion in multi-year broadcasting contracts.
However, actions in the field are changing the composition of the sport’s financial elite in England. Manchester United remains the club with the highest income in the country, but predicted a drop in revenue as a result of its relatively low field performance.
That has jeopardized his preeminence of the bitter Liverpool rivals (current Champions League holders) and Manchester City, winners of the Premier League last season.
“Clubs like United have phenomenal business operations but, if they continue to fight in the field in relation to other clubs and their own history, it makes it harder to keep growing,” Jones said.
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur, which last season opened a 62,000-seat stadium and reached the Champions League final, has surpassed its North London rival, Arsenal, which has not qualified for the main competition of Europe in the last three seasons.