Manchester United have been unseated as world football’s biggest earners, after slipping to third behind Real Madrid and Barcelona in Deloitte’s annual report into club revenues.
However, the Premier League provided six of the top 10, which is a record from a single country.
The report found that the 20 highest-earning clubs in the world generated a record £7.4bn of combined revenue in 2017/2018, an increase of 6% on the previous year.
United, though, were unable to keep pace with Madrid and Barcelona after pulling in £581m, a fall of £8.8m on the previous season.
Madrid moved from second to first, by increasing revenues by more than £85m to £665.2m off the back of a third consecutive Champions League title and a big uplift in sponsorship, merchandising and the exploitation of increasingly lucrative pre-season fixtures. They are the first club to generate more than €750m.
Barcelona are in second place with revenues of just over £611m, a rise of more than £50m, after signing a new shirt sponsorship with a Japanese e-commerce company and winning La Liga.
“European football remains a bull market, with annual revenue growth of almost €450m [approximately £390m].
“Real Madrid’s outstanding financial performance in 2017-18 is built on their long history of success on the pitch, most recently three consecutive Champions League titles.
“This has enabled the club to continue to drive commercial revenue as the appetite to partner with Europe’s most successful clubs remains stronger than ever,” Dan Jones, a Deloitte partner, said.