Manchester United – ranked thirdManchester United slipped one place to third as the absence of European football resulted in double digit percentage decreases in both matchday and broadcasting revenues. It also meant that, for the first time since 1989/90, broadcasting revenue fell to £107.7m. However, the combination of a favourable exchange rate movement and the underlying strength of the club’s business model, ensured the club remained in the Money League top three. According to Deloitte, commercial revenue grew by £7.8m to reach £200.8m, representing over half of total revenue. Within this, the commencement of the seven year General Motors shirt sponsorship, plus the addition of five global, four regional and two financial services and telecom partnerships, helped sponsorship revenue increase by 14 per cent to £154.9m. Commercial revenue will increase even further in 2015/16, with the record £750m ten-year adidas kit manufacturer deal starting this season. United become the first English team to surpass 100m followers collectively across social media platforms, an increase of over 50 per cent on the previous year. Around 15 per cent of these connections are based in China, and with the recent announcement of a deal with China’s leading sports media platform, Sina Sports, to broadcast the club’s dedicated 24-hour MUTV channel in China, United will want to further strengthen its following in this market.
Manchester City – ranked sixthDespite modest revenue growth compared with previous years, Manchester City maintained its sixth position with a record revenue of £352.6m to become the second English club ever to break the £350m revenue barrier. This was due to matchday revenue falling by £4.1m to £43.4m after a four per cent reduction in average attendance at the Etihad Stadium in 2014/15, due to seat restrictions to allow for 7,000 seats to be added to a redeveloped South Stand and three new pitchside rows in time for the start of the 2015/16 season. So far, all 2015/16 home league fixtures have attracted attendances in excess of 53,000 and with planning permission in place to further increase capacity to 61,000, the Etihad Stadium could become the second largest English club stadium behind Manchester United’s Old Trafford. Broadcast revenue increased by two per cent to £135.4m. Commercial revenue, accounting for 49 per cent of City’s total, rose to £173.8m and follows the creation of 22 new global and regional partnerships including deals with SAP, Nissan, Citi and PZ Cussons. Deloitte claimed that City’s current position as a top four Premier League club, coupled with stable Premier League distributions until the new rights deal in 2016/17, means a strong run in the Champions League is the most likely source of an increase in broadcast revenue in 2015/16. In late 2015, a Chinese consortium led by China Media Capital Holdings also reportedly invested £255m for a 13 per cent shareholding in the club. Following Dalian Wanda at Atlético de Madrid, this is the second notable investment in a Money League club from China. Read further to find out where Chelsea and Liverpool ranked.
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