Since the 2003-04 season when Manchester United announced a world-beating turnover in Europe with a record of $316.2m, the United have regained a fame as the richest club, setting a record of approximately $839.9m while surpassing the virtual money ballers, Real Madrid and Barcelona who both generate approximately $755.8m in revenues.
In the UEFA’s newly released benchmarking report of 2016 financial year on European football, which highlights the football finances for European top-division clubs, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain also remain relatively high, ranking fourth and fifth after submitting notable amounts of $721.7m and $660.8m respectively.
The United’s revenue becomes magnified when compared to that of other English Premier League teams. The closest neighbor but fierce rival, Manchester City are the next highest revenue generating club of EPL on the report after United, but the City still rank (6th) far behind United with a difference of more than $190m.
United have achieved an astounding growth rate of 32 percent in revenues from the previous year, which is the highest growth percentile recorded among the top 10 revenue generating clubs of Europe’s top-flight leagues, and the increase simply adds $206m more to the last year’s performance.
They also reap the highest operating profit of $284.3m on the report, exceeding outright the second highest, Real Madrid with $167.9m. This amount allows United to finance themselves and be active in the transfer market while still balancing their books.
The only downside for United is that they also record the biggest net debt of $686m, growing at a rate of 5 percent. But, United still possess the most expensive squad in the world, valued at $442.9m after completing big signings like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba.
Certainly, the unprecedented amount of money is sloshing for United, but why?
The Market Is Growing Exponentially
In general, the European football market has been consistently experiencing a steady increase in revenues; club revenues have tripled this century starting with $7.35 billion in 2000 and reaching the tip of $22.6 billion in 2016. Over the medium term, EPL has seen the biggest leap for the average six-year growth rate of 82 percent in revenue among the top divisions and earned the highest average revenue of $2701.7m collectively as well.
The club also tops the broadcast revenues table on the report, amounting to $178.8, and has captured a 5 percent of year-on-year growth. TV money is a significant revenue driver, but not dominant for United as it contributes only 21 percent of the total revenue whereas Tottenham Hotspur record broadcast revenues, contributing 45 percent of their total revenue. The club like Manchester United do not rely on one of the revenue streams, but it is a mixture of the other three groups such as sponsorships, commercial and gate receipts all contributing, instead of one dominating the mix.
If the signing of Chilean sensation, Alexis Sanchez is finalized, and other players regain their form like Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku as expected, the United’s financial height would look to scale even greater in the upcoming year report, considering the benefit of Champions League and growth trend of European football clubs financially, especially in EPL.