The European Football Association (UEFA) on Tuesday named Manchester United ahead of Real Madrid and Barcelona as the biggest revenue earner for last year, 2017.
According to the annual report, United enjoyed the top position by beating all European clubs in the last financial year after a 32 percent increase propelled them above the Los Blancos and the Catalan club.
The report said: “revenues among Europe’s 700-odd top-flight clubs totalled 18.5 billion euros (£16.5 billion) for 2016.
“This is in comparison to 16.9 billion the year before and 2.8 billion in 1996. However, the report acknowledged that nearly half that amount — 9.1 million euros — was generated by 30 clubs.”
“The financial gap between the elite ones and the rest was increasing. English Premier League television revenues were now such that mid-table Bournemouth earned the same as three-times European champions Inter Milan. Manchester United’s revenue for 2016 was 689 million euros, compared to 521 million euros in 2015,” the report said.
The Red Devils were followed by FC Barcelona and Real Madrid (both 620 million), Bayern Munich (592 million), Paris St Germain (542 million) and Manchester City (533 million).
United operating profit of 232 million euros was also the highest followed by Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Manchester City.
The English giants were also burdened with the highest net debt of 561 million euros, ahead of Benfica, Inter Milan, Juventus and Liverpool.
The report also confirmed that the English Premier League enjoys by far the highest revenues in Europe, averaging 244.4 million euros per club.
Next was Germany’s Bundesliga with 149.6 million per club followed by Spain (126.3 million) and Italy (100.2 million) Revenues fell dramatically elsewhere, even in traditional football nations such as the Netherlands (26.7 million) and Portugal (20.3 million).
UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin said, “As the guardians of the game, UEFA must ensure that football remains competitive even as financial gaps are augmented by globalisation and technological change.”