This List Of The World’s Richest Clubs From 1998 Is A Wild Sight

There’s been a pretty massive shift over the past 20 years.

Back in January, Deloitte published its annual Football Money League table to showcase the 20 highest earning football clubs in the world based on turnover for the 2018-19 season. At the top was Barcelona with revenues of over $1 billion. Revenue growth amongst the world’s wealthiest clubs has been exponential over the last decade, a fact that’s verified by Barça’s 1997-98 turnover of $63.5 million — the sixth-highest number on the planet at the time.

Looking at the Deloitte Money League from the 1997-98 season is a fascinating exercise that shows just how far the business of football has come since the inception of the Premier League and restructuring of the Champions League in 1992.

Here’s the United Kingdom rich list from over 20 years ago.

1. Manchester United $115m 

2. Newcastle $64m

3. Chelsea $62m

4. Liverpool $60m 

5. Arsenal $53m 

6. Rangers $43m 

7. Aston Villa $42m 

8. Tottenham $41m 

9. Leeds United $37m 

10. Celtic $36m 

11. West Ham $31m 

12. Everton $30m 

13. Derby County $26m 

14. Wimbledon $26m 

15. Blackburn $25m 

16. Leicester City $25m 

17. Sunderland $25m 

18. Middlesbrough $24m 

19. Coventry City $23m 

20. Sheffield Wednesday $21m

Things have changed. Manchester City has gone from not even being in the U.K.’s top 20 to being the sixth-richest club in the world. Newcastle has experienced a dramatic fall, but not nearly as much as Scotland’s Rangers (administration in 2011-12), Wimbledon FC (moved to Milton Keynes), Sunderland (third division) and the Championship quintet of Derby, Blackburn, Middlesbrough, Coventry and Sheffield Wednesday.   

Here’s the world rich list from 1997-98. 

1. Manchester United $115m 

2. Real Madrid $94m 

3. Bayern Munich $85m 

4. Juventus $72m 

5. Newcastle $64m 

6. Barcelona $64m 

7. AC Milan $64m 

8. Inter $63m 

9. Chelsea $62m 

10. Liverpool $60m 

11. Borussia Dortmund $54m 

12. Lazio $54m 

13. Arsenal $53m 

14. Parma $44m 

15. PSG $43m 

16. Rangers $43m 

17. Aston Villa $42m 

18. Tottenham $41m 

19. Roma $40m 

20. Leeds United $37m 

Again, Newcastle’s gone from being richer than Barcelona to not playing in the Champions League since 2003. Parma is another interesting story. The Italian side went from winning three Coppa Italias, two UEFA Cups and the European Super Cup in the 90s and early 00s to going bankrupt in 2004.

While Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Juventus continue to sit near the top of the Money League, both PSG and Manchester City have crashed the party under new ownership while the likes of Atlético Madrid, Napoli and Lyon have established themselves as regulars on Europe’s biggest stage.

Football rich list for 2018-19

1. Barcelona $1.1 billion 

2. Real Madrid $991m 

3. Manchester United $931m 

4. Bayern Munich $864m 

5. PSG $832m 

6. Manchester City $799m 

7. Liverpool $791m 

8. Tottenham $682m 

9. Chelsea $671m 

10. Juventus $602m 

11. Arsenal $583m 

12. Borussia Dortmund $493m 

13. Atlético Madrid $481m 

14. Inter $477m 

15. Schalke 04 $425m 

16. Roma $302m 

17. Lyon $289m 

18. West Ham $283m 

19. Everton $279m 

20. Napoli $271m 

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