Have you ever wondered which football clubs are the richest in the world? We’re not just talking about the money spent on star players and flashy new stadiums. Some of the biggest football clubs are global brands and media powerhouses in their own right.
From sponsorship deals and broadcasting rights to merchandise and ticket sales, the top clubs are bringing in cash from all directions. No surprise, then, that the richest football clubs also tend to be the most successful on the pitch. If you’ve got pockets deep enough to buy the best players and managers, the trophies will usually follow.
So, which clubs dominate the money league? We’ve crunched the numbers from Deloitte and various sources to bring you the definitive top 10 richest football clubs in the world in 2023. Let’s take a look at how they built their empires and who’s coming out on top.
Top 10 Richest Football Clubs in the World
The richest football clubs in the world are global powerhouses, with huge fanbases and sponsorships that generate billions in revenue each year. These massive clubs are iconic brands and major players in the sports industry.
Manchester City – £619.1 million
Manchester City, currently the richest football club in the world, was founded in 1880. Known as “The Citizens,” Man City has been owned by Sheik Mansour since 2008 and has since seen its value skyrocket to over £619 million.
Under Mansour’s ownership, Man City has invested heavily in top players and coaching staff. Some of their star players include Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte, and Raheem Sterling. With Pep Guardiola as their manager, Man City has dominated the Premier League, winning three of the last four league titles. Manchester City Club has won 9 league titles, 7 FA Cups, 8 League Cups, 6 FA Community Shields, one UEFA Champions League, one European Cup Winners’ Cup, and one UEFA Super Cup.
Man City’s wealth and on-field success have allowed them to expand their brand globally. They have partnerships with companies like SAP, Nissan, and EA Sports. Man City even has sister clubs in Australia, Japan, Spain, and China.
The club has also invested in infrastructure. The Etihad Stadium, the City’s home ground, now seats 53,400 fans and hosts major concerts and events. City’s training facility, the City Football Academy, is a state-of-the-art youth academy and first-team training ground.
With their combination of star power, success, and smart investments, Manchester City has emerged as a financial and footballing powerhouse. They are poised to remain among the richest and most successful clubs in the world for years to come.
Real Madrid – £613.21 million
As one of the most successful clubs in the world, Real Madrid comes 2nd in the list of richest football clubs. They have won a record 35 La Liga titles and 14 UEFA Champions League titles. Real Madrid generates revenue through matchday tickets, broadcasting rights, and commercial sponsorships.
Their state-of-the-art Santiago Bernabéu stadium seats 80,044 fans and is a major source of matchday revenue. Real Madrid also has a 10-year, record-breaking kit sponsorship deal with Adidas worth over €950 million. They have additional sponsorship deals with major brands like Emirates, Adobe, and Sanitas.
With star players like D. Carvajal, J. William Bellingham, R. Silva de Goes, and F. Valverde on their roster, Real Madrid is able to negotiate lucrative commercial deals and attract top talent. They frequently make expensive player acquisitions, like the €115 million they paid to sign Eden Hazard from Chelsea in 2019.
Between their prestigious history, massive global following, and shrewd business deals, Real Madrid looks poised to remain at the top of the football finance world for years to come. Their winning tradition and loyal fans will continue to drive their success both on and off the pitch.
Bayern Munich – £585.01 million
Bayern Munich is one of the richest football clubs in the world, with a value of £585.01 million. The club is based in Munich, Germany. Bayern Munich is a German sports club that boasts some of the biggest stars. They have won 33 national titles and 20 national cups.
Some of the most well-known players for Bayern Munich include Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, and Thomas Müller. These superstars have helped the club win numerous Bundesliga titles and DFB Cups. With their success and fame, they have attracted major sponsorships from brands like Adidas, Audi, Qatar Airways, Deutsche Telekom, and DHL, which contribute significantly to the club’s revenue.
Bayern Munich is an economic powerhouse in football. Their state-of-the-art Allianz Arena seats 75,000 fans and is a major venue for concerts and events. Matchday revenue, commercial deals, and broadcasting make up a large portion of their income. They continue to invest in top players to keep winning titles and build their global brand. Their winning tradition and status as one of Europe’s most prestigious clubs will ensure Bayern Munich remains one of the richest football clubs for years to come.
Barcelona – £557.61 million
Barcelona is one of the most successful football clubs in the world. The club was founded in 1899 and is based in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona is renowned for its youth academy, La Masia, which has produced many talented players. Some of the most notable alumni are Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Carles Puyol, etc.
Barcelona is one of the richest football clubs in the world, with an estimated value of £557.61 million. The club’s primary source of revenue is broadcasting rights, which account for about 40% of its total revenue. Barcelona also has a lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike and Rakuten worth over £150 million per season. The club is also involved in various commercial activities and merchandising, which contribute significantly to its revenue.
Camp Nou, Barcelona’s home stadium, is the largest stadium in Europe, with a capacity of 99,354. The stadium is iconic and attracts many tourists each year, generating substantial revenue through tourism. Barcelona’s huge global fan following, especially in Asia and the Americas, provides the club with a massive commercial opportunity to expand into new markets.
With star players like Lionel Messi and a rich history of success, Barcelona is poised to remain one of the most valuable football brands in the coming years. The club has won 77 major trophies, including 5 UEFA Champions League titles, 31 Copa del Rey, 14 Supercopa de España, three Copa Eva Duarte, two Copa de la Liga titles and 27 La Liga titles. Barcelona’s attacking and possession-based style of play has won the hearts of football fans all over the world.
Paris St. Germain – €554.2m
Paris Saint-Germain, more commonly known as PSG, is a French professional football club based in Paris. PSG has become one of the richest football clubs in the world. The club was founded in 1970 and currently plays in the highest tier of French football, Ligue 1.
The club’s budget is the second highest in France after Lyon and one of the highest in Europe. PSG’s budget is backed by their wealthy Qatari owners, who have invested over €1 billion into the club since 2011. Their lavish spending has allowed them to sign high-profile players like Neymar, Kylian Mbappé, and Lionel Messi.
The club’s main sources of revenue are commercial partnerships, broadcasting rights, and matchday revenue. PSG’s sponsorship deals with major brands like Nike and Emirates have greatly increased their commercial revenue. Their broadcasting rights have also skyrocketed thanks to lucrative TV deals with beIN Sports. And despite having a relatively small stadium, ticket sales from their passionate fans provide a decent amount of matchday revenue.
With their enormous budget and star-studded squad, PSG has dominated French football and become a major force in the Champions League. The club has won 11 league titles, 9 Coupe de la Ligue, 11 Trophée des Champions, and 14 Coupe de France trophies. Although success in Europe has been elusive, PSG reached the Champions League final for the first time in 2020 and continues to strengthen in their quest to become champions of Europe.
Manchester United – £534.25 Million
Manchester United is one of the most successful clubs in the history of English football. Founded in 1878, the Red Devils have won a record 20 League titles, 6 League cups, and 12 FA Cups. They are also among the richest football clubs in the world, with an estimated value of £534.25 million.
The club generates huge commercial revenue through sponsorship deals and merchandising. Their 10-year kit deal with Adidas is the most lucrative in the Premier League at €90 million annually. They also have an annual £64 million shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet.
Under the ownership of the Glazer family, the club’s revenue and global fanbase have grown tremendously. They have over 650 million supporters worldwide. However, the Glazers have faced criticism over the debt burden on the club due to their leveraged buyout. There have been protests by supporters demanding the change of ownership.
Despite their financial success, United have struggled on the pitch in recent years. They last won the Premier League title in 2013 and haven’t won a trophy since 2017. The club and supporters will be hoping to return to the glory days under new manager Erik ten Hag.
Liverpool – £553.62 million
Liverpool is one of the most successful clubs in England and one of the richest football clubs in the world. Founded in 1892, Liverpool has won 19 league titles, 8 FA Cups, 8 League Cups, 6 European Cups, a record nine League Cups, and 16 FA Community Shields.
With such an illustrious history, it’s no wonder Liverpool has amassed a huge global following. Under legendary managers like Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley, Liverpool dominated English and European football in the 50s and 70s. Stars like Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, and Steven Gerrard have cemented Liverpool’s popularity.
Even though Liverpool hasn’t won the league since 1990, their massive fanbase has allowed them to become an extremely valuable club. Liverpool was purchased by Fenway Sports Group in 2010 for £300 million. According to Forbes, Liverpool is now worth £553.62 million, making them the 7th richest football club in the world.
Liverpool generates revenue from sponsorships, merchandise, matchday tickets, and broadcasting rights. Their current shirt sponsor is Standard Chartered Bank, and their kit sponsor is Nike. Liverpool’s popularity in Asia, especially China and Southeast Asia, provides commercial opportunities.
With exciting young players, a revamped stadium, and shrewd ownership, Liverpool’s value and revenue should continue to rise.
Chelsea – £472.20 million
Chelsea is one of the richest football clubs in the world. With a valuation of £472.20 million, Chelsea ranks.
The club was Founded in 1905; Chelsea plays in the Premier League and is based in London. The club has a very successful history, winning 5 Premier League titles, 8 FA Cups, 2 Champions League titles, five League Cups, and four FA Community Shields. Some of Chelsea’s biggest stars over the years include Frank Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba, and Eden Hazard.
Roman Abramovich, a Russian billionaire businessman, has owned Chelsea since 2003. Under his ownership, Chelsea has become one of the richest and most successful clubs in England. Abramovich has invested heavily in the club, allowing them to sign world-class players and managers. This investment has transformed Chelsea into a perennial title contenders and boosted their global brand.
American Billionaire Todd Boehly and a group of investors formally completed their takeover of Chelsea in a deal worth $5.25 billion (£4.25 billion) in May 2022, making it the most expensive team transaction in professional sports history.
Chelsea generates revenue from several sources, including matchday tickets, broadcasting rights, and commercial sponsorships. Major sponsors include Yokohama, Carabao, and Nike. The club is also exploring new revenue streams like hospitality packages and tours.
Juventus – £414.99 million
Juventus, based in Turin, Italy, is one of the most successful clubs in the world. The Club was Founded in 1897; Juventus has won a record 36 official league titles, 14 Coppa Italia titles, and 9 Supercoppa Italiana titles.
Known as “The Old Lady,” Juventus is estimated to be worth around £415 million, placing them 9th on the list of the richest football clubs in the world. Their home stadium, the Allianz Stadium, was built in 2011 and has a capacity of over 41,507. Some of the all-time greats have played for Juventus, including Alessandro Del Piero, Gianluigi Buffon, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Juventus has a long-standing rivalry with Inter Milan, with whom they contest the Derby d’Italia. They are also bitter rivals with A.C. Milan in the Derby della Mole. These rivalries stem from the clubs competing for titles and the fact that Milan and Turin, where the clubs are based, are only 150 km apart.
Some of Juventus’ major sponsors include Adidas, Jeep, Cygames, and BetClic. Revenue from broadcasting and commercial deals make up a significant portion of Juventus’ income. The club is listed on the Borsa Italiana and has a current market capitalization of over €810.31 million, demonstrating its status as an economic powerhouse.
Tottenham – £389.20 million
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, commonly referred to as Tottenham or Spurs, is a professional football club in Tottenham, London, England. They compete in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. With revenue of £389.20 million, Tottenham ranks 10th on the list of richest football clubs.
Spurs play their home matches at the 62,850-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The club was founded in 1882 and became professional in 1895. They have won two League titles, eight FA Cups, four League Cups, seven FA Community Shields, and two UEFA Cups.
Some of Tottenham’s notable former players include Jimmy Greaves, Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, and Teddy Sheringham. Current stars include J. Maddison, C. Romero, and Son Heung-min. Under the management of José Mourinho, Spurs have been challenged for major honors over the last few seasons, reaching the UEFA Champions League final in 2019. The current manager is Ange Postecoglou.
Though not as wealthy as some of their Premier League rivals, Tottenham’s revenue has grown substantially in recent years thanks to their new stadium, sponsorship deals, and on-pitch success. If they can win some silverware and consistently qualify for the Champions League, Tottenham’s financial power will likely continue to rise. The future looks bright for this historic London club.
Do Wealthy Clubs Always Win More?
Wealth and on-field success do not always go hand in hand. While money certainly helps attract top players and coaches, other factors like team dynamics, injuries, and luck also play a role in a club’s performance. Some less affluent clubs are able to punch above their weight from time to time.
Why Do Some Clubs Struggle Despite Wealth?
A number of issues can hinder wealthy clubs:
- Poor management and lack of vision
- Failure to invest in infrastructure like training facilities
- Overreliance on buying expensive players rather than developing youth talent
- Off-field drama and power struggles that distract the club
Money is certainly an advantage, but it does not guarantee success. The richest clubs still need good leadership and decision-making to win consistently.
So there you have it, the richest football clubs in the world. These massive franchises are more than just sports teams; they’re global brands and entertainment powerhouses. Their success on the pitch is directly tied to their wealth through sponsorships, merchandising, and media rights.
While the rankings may change each year based on team performance and business deals, one thing remains certain, the world’s most popular sport will continue producing financial giants, and the teams at the top will stay perennial contenders thanks to their financial might and global influence. Whether you support one of these mega-clubs or cheer for the underdogs, there’s no denying the power and prestige that comes with being one of the richest football clubs on the planet.