Manchester United have been named the world’s highest earning club in the 2015-16 edition of Deloitte’s Football Money League.
The Red Devils came on top in the 20th annual check on the finances of the biggest clubs on the globe, ahead of Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Los Blancos,who topped the standings when the previous edition was published 12 months ago, slip to third. It is the first time in 11 years that Real have not taken first place.
Over the past year, the Old Trafford outfit’s income has jumped from £395.2 million to £515.3m, giving them a significant advantage of over 10 per cent to second-placed Barcelona (£463.8m) and third-placed Madrid, who are less than £100,000 behind their archrivals.
United’s revenue is the highest ever recorded for a football club as they enjoy a significant jump in commercial revenue growth of £71m in addition to their Champions League return last year.
Experts, however, warn they may not be top of the list for too long.
“They (Manchester United) will face strong competition from Barcelona and Real Madrid to retain the top spot in next year’s edition due to their lack of Champions League football, the weakening of the pound against the euro and, over the longer term, as other clubs enter the commercial market demanding similar deals, using United as the precedent,”Deloitte’s Dan Jones said.
German powerhouse Bayern Munich and Manchester City each move up one spot to complete the top five, edging out French giants Paris Saint-Germain who slide down to sixth.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Juventus complete the top 10, each maintaining their positions from seventh to 10th respectively, while surprise Premier League winners Leicester City sneak in at 20th.