Graham Vincent

Turmoil deepens as Manchester United drop out of world's top three richest clubs

Premiership champions Manchester United’s tumultuous season has gone from bad to worse after they dropped out of the top three richest clubs in the world for the first time.

The Reds, who have had a nightmare season so far, sitting in seventh place and being knocked out of the League Cup by Sunderland last night, are fourth, with a revenue last year of £363.2 million.

City rivals Manchester City are sixth on the 2013 Deloitte Football Money League, published today, with a revenue of £271 million.

Despite dropping out of the top three for the first time since the study’s inception in 1996, Manchester United’s revenue increased by 13% last year, and the club is expected to regain its top three position next year after securing a raft of new sponsorship deals.

Redcent deals include a multi-season sponsorship agreement with international spirits brand Aperol, to become the club’s official global spirits partner; a three-year agreement with SPOTV to take the club’s dedicated TV channel, MUTV, to South Korea; a financial services agreement with Maltese commercial bank, Banif Bank (Malta) plc.; and a three-year regional partnership with Unilever in South East Asia.

German treble winners Bayern Munich have usurped Manchester United into third position, with a revenue of £369.6 million, behind Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, in first, with £444.7 million revenue.

Austin Houlihan, senior manager in the sports business group at Deloitte, said: “Whilst Manchester United drop one place in the Money League, a number of the club’s recent commercial deals will boost revenue in 2013-14, so this fall to fourth place may only be temporary.

“Beyond 2013-14, consistent qualification for the Champions League is key in United challenging to regain top spot in the Money League, a position it last held in 2003-04.”

The Premier League continues to consolidate its position as the dominant financial force in world football, with six teams in the top 20 (Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool), compared to four from Germany and Italy, three from Spain and one from France.

Manchester City’s revenue increase is largely down to its commercial activities, particularly their agreement with Etihad Airways, while the club also saw a rise in matchday revenue of 12% despite still offering the cheapest season ticket in the Premier League.

Liverpool, though, dropped out of the top ten for the first time, despite growing revenue by 9% to £206.2 million.

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