Daily Management Review

Football’s First Billion-Dollar Club Is FC Barcelona: Deloitte Report


Football’s First Billion-Dollar Club Is FC Barcelona: Deloitte Report
A new report has revealed that between 2018 and 2019, a record revenue of $959.3 million was generated by the Spanish soccer giant FC Barcelona. That made it the biggest cash-generating club in sports ever.
A ranking of the wealthiest soccer clubs of the world based on the revenues generated by them in the 2018/2019 football season was published recently by Deloitte in its report titled Football Money League 2020.
At second place was Real Madrid – the Spanish rival of Barcelona, which generated total revenues of $864 million. In the 23 years that Deloitte has been publishing the Football Money League, the revenue difference of more than $95 million between the two clubs was the highest.
Data showed that while Real Madrid’s revenue dropped from $896 million a year earlier, the revenues of FC Barcelona’s increased compared to the $823 million from the previous year.
According to Deloitte, this increase in the revenues of FC Barcelona is also is also the first time that any sports club has surpassed the $900 million mark.
The other three clubs in the top five lit are Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain. More revenue than the 11 clubs ranked in 10th to 20th place combined was generated by the five richest clubs collectively, the report also highlighted.
The highest combined revenue on record for any season was generated by the 20 wealthiest clubs who generated total revenue of $10.6 billion throughout the season, the report also mentioned.
The primary revenue stream for the clubs was broadcasting rights which accounted for 44 per cent of the s total revenue generated for the season for the top 20 clubs. Commercial deals accounted for 40 per cent of the revenue while matchday revenues accounted for 16 per cent. However those clubs who were at the top of the ranking dependent on broadcasting revenues much less compared to the lower ranked clubs, the Deloitte reported also highlighted.
The report’s authors noted that the very large increase in revenues for FC Barcelona was primarily because of overhauled operations which included its decision to make merchandising and licensing activities within the control of the club.
“Barca is a clear example of a club adapting to changing market conditions, reducing the reliance on broadcast revenue and focusing on growing revenues within its control,” Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said in a press release Tuesday.
Between 2018 and 2019, $437.6m of revenue was generated by the club’s commercial operation alone, he added. That amount was greater than the total revenue that was generated by the club placed 12th in the 2020 ranking, the report found.
“With the club expecting further growth in commercial revenues, we expect them to retain the top spot in next year’s edition, and Barca is on course to be the first $1 billion Money League club in years to come,” Jones said.
In football, the rich were getting richer, said Alan Switzer, director of Deloitte’s Sports Business Group. “What you’ve seen in the last couple of years is that transition away from the billionaire model – which still exists – but you’re seeing the likes of Silver Lake investing in the City Group, so you’re seeing some of that private equity money entering as well,” he said.