Jan 23 - Spain's Real Madrid has retained its title as the world's richest soccer club in 2012-13 with revenues of over 500 million euros ($677 million) despite failing to win any major trophies on the pitch. But as Melanie Ralph reports the big surprise was Manchester United which fell out of the top three.
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Life's a ball for Real Madrid - at least when it comes to money.
The Spanish club has again topped Deloitte's football money league, making over 500 million euros in revenue.
Nipping at Real Madrid's heels is its rival Barcelona. Germany's Bayern Munich has bumped Manchester United from the top three...with Paris-Saint Germain coming a surprise fifth place thanks to an 80 percent rise in its revenues.
The combined revenue of the top twenty clubs grew by a healthy 400 MILLION euros to 5.4 billion - that's an annual rise of 8 percent.
Barcelona made 480 MILLION of that, which is good news for a club owned by the fans.
Carles Vilarrubi is the Club's Vice chairman.
(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH): CARLES VILARRUBI, BARCELONA FC VICE CHAIRMAN, SAYING:
"We don't want to be the richest club in the world. We look for the excellence in sport, in management, and we want to be one of the top clubs of the world."
Football is big business with individual club revenues reaching into the hundreds of millions. Most money is made off the pitch.
Emirates Airlines slapped their brand on Arsenal's home stadium as just one part of a multi million pound sponsorship deal with the premier league team.
Business interest for British and European football clubs is coming in thick and fast...from investors all around the world
Football isn't only attracting middle-eastern investors.
Seven British and European clubs in Deloitte's top twenty have wealthy foreign owners.
And the latest person reportedly wanting a piece of the action is one of China's richest men.
Rumour has it Wang Jailin is interested in the UK's premier league side Southampton, currently owned by a Swiss businesswoman.
Nothing is confirmed yet but British clubs certainly seem to be attracting investors, says Mark Roberts from Deloitte's Sports business group.
(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) MARK ROBERTS, SENIOR MANAGER, DELOITTE SPORTS BUSINESS GROUP, SAYING:
"We're certain to see an increase in income from the English clubs. Their broadcast deal has just started for the 2013/14 season, so we'll definitely see potentially as many as eight or nine English clubs in the top 20 next year. We'll certainly see revenue growth from clubs like Manchester United in terms of their commercial deals."
With sponsorship deals making up a large chunk of the revenue stream, Man U isn't expect to be out of the top three for long.
It has several new commercial deals in the pipeline - which could push its income to 500 million euros.
That'll easily cover their latest purchase.
They're reportedly splashing out 37 million pounds to buy midfielder Juan Mata from Chelsea, the Money League's 7th place club.
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