Economic prosperity in a time of Spanish austerity

Real Madrid and Barcelona top the revenue-generating charts among football clubs across Europe.

Powered by automated translation

New financial figures show that Real Madrid had the highest revenues in world football for 2010/11.

Spain may suffer high-profile economic problems and the Madrid giants only had the Copa del Rey to display last season, but they boasted record revenues of €480 million (Dh2.42 billion) and could be the first club to break the €500m barrier. Barcelona were second with €447m, though the gap will close next season as Barca's sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation kicks in.

The reason for the clubs' dominance is domestic television money. Allowed to sell their own TV rights, Real made €153m - over twice what third-place Manchester United (with revenues of €367m) made. The weak pound hit United and Arsenal, who were fourth with €283m. They were ahead of the two Milan clubs, AC, with €228m and Inter with €217m in fifth and sixth.

The Italians lose out because they don't own their stadiums and can't benefit from advertising and executive facilities. Their revenues are less than half of Real's and it is easy to see why Juventus recently built their own stadium.

Never mind the Eurozone being a two-tier economy. In European football it is a four-tier league with the Spanish giants well in front, the leading Italians second, the Germans, with their admirable penchant for affordable ticket prices and collective television deals, well behind and the rest of the continent bringing up the rear.


The National Sport


& Andy Mitten on