Real Madrid has been named the highest earning football club in the world for the 10th year in a row. And as Katie Gregory reports, the top 20 clubs on this year's Football Money League list broke a revenue record.
On the field, Real Madrid are champions of almost everything... and it's paying off - big time. The club earned almost 550 million euros last season, making them the highest earning team in the world. The Football Money League list, compiled yearly by Deloitte, has found it's not just Real Madrid raking in the cash. Alex Thorpe is one of the report's authors. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DELOITTE, SPORTS BUSINESS GROUP, SENIOR MANAGER, ALEX THORPE, SAYING: "Last year we saw the first club break the 500 million euro mark for the first time, this year we've got two clubs, next year we could well have five." In these tough economic times, European football clubs are bucking the current global trend in growth. The top 20 on Deloitte's list saw a combined increase in earnings last season of 14% to 6.2 billion euros. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DELOITTE, SPORTS BUSINESS GROUP, SENIOR MANAGER, ALEX THORPE, SAYING: "I think the first point to make is the commercial appeal of these clubs now. They are based in Europe but very much cater to a global audience and that's helping drive broadcast revenue, for the revenues coming from broadcasting matches from territories outside of their domestic zones. But also in terms of attracting sponsors from all over the world." After falling to fourth place on last year's list, Manchester United have staged a comeback, coming in second. It's the only UK team to make the top 5. In third place was Bayern Munich. Spain's FC Barcelona was fourth. And Paris Saint-Germain had a cracking season - coming in 5th place. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, KATIE GREGORY, SAYING: "For the first time, all 20 clubs in the Premier League, made it into the top 40. 8 of those were in the top 20 - including Chelsea - at number 7. That's all due to the new 3 year broadcast deals last season. And Premier League clubs are currently re-negotiating those media rights - with even more money expected to fall into club's pockets in the coming years." But can earnings of this magnitude be sustained in the long term? Mike Ingram is from BGC. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BCG, MARKET ANALYST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING; "I think at some point in time we're going to see much more pedestrian levels of growth in the sort of 0-5% and of course it doesn't preclude the possibility in the years ahead that at some point it will plateau and maybe even decline." Money doesn't always guarantee success. But in Real's case, they're top of the Spanish League, proving how money can help buy success. Star player Christiano Ronaldo earns more than 300,000 euros a week.