Thursday, 14 February 2008

Rich List Revisited

West Ham United have slipped outside of the Top 20 in football's rich list. The Hammers, who were listed in 19th place in the 2005/06 list with a turnover of £60.1million, have fallen in this year's Deloitte's Football Money League, which is based on revenues generated during 2006/7. Two of the teams that suffered a similar fate in last year's list, Valencia and Celtic, are back in this year's list which also sees Glasgow Rangers, Manchester City and Benfica slip outside of the top tier. Topping the list for the third successive year are Real Madrid, whilst six English clubs - Manchester United (2nd), Chelsea (4th), Arsenal (5th), Liverpool (8th), Tottenham (11th) and Newcastle (14th) - make the top 20. Looking ahead to next year's report, the authors state that "2007/08 could see England providing half the Money League clubs".

The list shows that the game's riches continue to be monopolised by the same group of clubs, with only one change in the top 10 from the previous season. Juventus dropped out because they played in the second-tier of Italian football in 2006/07, their place in the top 10 going to Italian rivals Roma. Deloitte's figures take into account income from ticket sales, merchandising and broadcasting contracts but do not include transfer revenues and does not calculate profitability. Between them, the collective revenue of the top 20 clubs - which are all European - grew by 11% to £2.5bn in 2006/07, the highest rate of growth since 2002/03. Real Madrid retained its crown as the world's wealthiest club, in terms of sales, in a season when it clinched the Spanish championship under Fabio Capello, and with David Beckham in the team. Its revenues rose to £236.2m from £202m the year before.

Dan Jones, of Deloitte's sports business group, said: "With the new Premier League television deals now online for the 2007/08 season, Manchester United have the opportunity to significantly close the gap on Real. A successful Champions League run may even see them challenge again for the number one position." Deloitte says the new TV money could help more English clubs into the top 20 in a year's time. Meanwhile, Arsenal, helped by increased revenues at their new Emirates Stadium, jumped from ninth place to fifth, while Chelsea's move up to fourth spot means England are the first country to have three clubs in the top five. The other British clubs to make it into the list were Liverpool (8), Tottenham Hotspur (11), Newcastle United (14), and Celtic (17).

Harry Philp, director of sports finance and advisory firm Hermes Sports Partners, said: "The top seven or eight clubs tend to usually be the same, and generally drawn from the big English, Spanish and Italian clubs. Real Madrid will have been helped by the very lucrative TV deal that they have, and the fact that their stadium is pretty much sold out for every game. Manchester United have been helped by their success on the field but also by ticket price increases. They have also done a lot of renegotiation of much of its financial arrangements. Arsenal have clearly benefited from the move to the Emirates." West Ham United's re-emergence into the Deloitte's list last year followed four years in the wilderness and was boosted by the FA Cup Final appearance against Liverpool. The slide on this year's list can be partly attributed to last season's traumatic relegation fight as well as comparatively early exits from both domestic cup competitions.

Deloitte's Football Rich List 06/07
(last year's position in brackets, income in Euros)

1 (1) Real Madrid 351.8
2 (4) Manchester United 315.4
3 (2) Barcelona 291.1
4 (6) Chelsea 284.4
5 (9) Arsenal 264.2
6 (5) AC Milan 227.7
7 (8) FC Bayern Munich 223.7
8 (10) Liverpool 202.1
9 (7) Inter 195.4
10 (12) A.S. Roma 157.7
11 (15) Tottenham Hotspur 153.6
12 (-) Juventus 145.5
13 (11) Lyon 141.5
14 (13) Newcastle United 129.4
15 (16) SV Hamburg 121.3
16 (14) Schalke 04 114.5
17 (-) Celtic 111.8
18 (-) Valencia 107.8
19 (-) Marseille 99.7
20 (-) Bremen 97.0

The club's income could soon be supplemented in the near future by the hosting of a casino and related entertainment facilities on the premises. As disclosed on the Hammered blog, a leaked letter has revealed that Newham will be allowed one of the sixteen new gambling palaces proposed by the government. Favourites at the moment to host the casino are ExCeL in the Royal Docks, Stratford City and West Ham United's Boleyn Ground at Upton Park. There are, as yet, no more details although it would be hard to think that the club's very public plans to move to a new stadium in the next few years will help their cause in selection.

One man who will be very interested in the casino news is self-confessed gambling addict Matthew Etherington. The troubled winger recently needed rehab for his addiction, but retains fond memories of his betting exploits. Asked by the Racing Post for his best betting moment, Etherington said: "Backing Westmead Hawk to win the Greyhound Derby both times. The first year he won it I had £5,000 each-way at 25-1." With winnings on that scale (payout: £166,250), imagine how much he may have lost before checking into the Sporting Chance clinic last year.

Finally, West Ham United are one of three Premier League teams being linked with a money-spinning pre-season tour of North America. Canadian outfit Vancouver Whitecaps announced yesterday that they had agreed to play a 'top ten' Premier League side this summer in either Burnaby's Swangard Stadium or BC Place Stadium. Whitecaps Club President and former manger of the Canadian national team, Bob Lenarduzzi, said: "We can't be specific at the moment. All I can say at this time is the team is currently in the top half of the English Premier League standings. If the draw is big enough, we would consider going into BC Place."

The Whitecaps play in the USL First Division, an 11-team league consisting of nine American sides and two Canadian. It is unsurprising that the club should be one of those linked given the announcement last May that West Ham United had opened an academy stateside. Interestingly, given the recent furore over the derided '39th game', Eggert Magnusson even hinted late last year that the Hammers were investigating the possibility of playing at least one 'home' Premier League fixture in North America.

1 comment:

Drum Poker said...

I wonder if a son of Westmead Hawk will ever cay off the Greyhound Derby. In the Greyhound Derby 2008 Nick Savva is sure to have a say in where the trophy goes. Aiming for a 4th win in as many years if he lifts the Greyhound Derby 2008 Title he will have to be crowned the best that ever trained a greyhound.


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