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English clubs' earning power bucks trend of economic woe

The continued earning power of English football despite the economic downturn has been emphasised in the latest edition of Deloitte's 'Football Money League', a comparative survey of revenue among European clubs.

Premier League clubs occupy seven of the top 20 places in the league, though the first two spots are filled by Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Madrid generated £359.1m despite a relatively disappointing season domestically and in Europe while Barca's income was £325.9m.

Manchester United were the highest-ranked British club with £286.4m, followed by Arsenal (fifth, £224.4m), Chelsea (sixth, £209.5m), Liverpool (eighth, £184.5m), Manchester City (11th, £125.1m), Tottenham (12th, £119.8m) and Aston Villa (20th, £89.6m).


City produced the biggest increase in revenue of any European club, up £38m on the previous year, though it failed to keep up with players' wages, which are 107pc of turnover.

While the revenue figures across Europe are striking -- the top 20 clubs generated £3.5bn between them, up 8pc on 2008-09 -- they tell only a partial picture.

Cost controls, specifically player wages, are still a major challenge across the game, and all of the English clubs in the table with the exception of Arsenal recorded a loss last season. Most also found it harder to generate additional revenue than in previous seasons.

The analysis also emphasises the importance of Champions League football to the elite clubs, and the increasingly fixed nature of the leading contenders. The same clubs occupy the top 10 places as 2008-09 with the top six unchanged, and just two clubs were new to the top 20.

Dan Jones, a partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said the report showed revenues were "resilient" despite the global economic downturn. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent