United Remain Ahead of Real Madrid as World’s Top Earning Football Club

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“We played Monopoly with real cash,” Jay-Z rapped on “I Love the Dough,” his 1997 collaboration with Notorious B.I.G. The song celebrating one’s extremely lucrative status certainly applies to the Money League report, published by accounting firm Deloitte.

For the second year in a row, Manchester United placed ahead of Real Madrid, at the top of the Money League, a list of the top earning clubs in world football. United earned £581m over the course of the 2016-17 season, which was just enough to edge them past Real Madrid for penthouse position on the list. The margin was only £1.5m, the smallest spread in the 21 year history of the list.

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United generated income that was £66 million more than last year’s total, when they became the first football team in history to earn more than £500 million in a single season. Last year, Old Trafford finished with a bigger margin at the top, almost £50m more than Barcelona who finished second a year ago and Real, who placed third on the 2017 list.

This year, the two La Liga giants swapped places, Bayern Munich remaining in fourth place and Manchester City staying in fifth. Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Liverpool and Juventus fill out the rest of the top 10. For Manchester United, this is the 10th time that they have topped the list, so nearly half of all Money League “titles” belong to them. This status complements United’s position as the world’s most valuable football club, according to Forbes, who released their list in July.

According to that list (the most recent edition of its kind), United are the third most valuable franchise, of any sport, in entire world behind only the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees. Barcelona is fourth and Real Madrid fifth in these rankings.

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United are certainly not shy about splashing the cash either. They had broken the British transfer fee purchase record 12 times, most recently with Angel Di Maria in 2014 at £59.3 million.

Then United finally broke the world transfer fee purchase record (and with it the British record for the 13th time) in the summer of 2016, with the re-acquisition of Paul Pogba for £89.3 million. Of course, the results on the pitch lately haven’t matched up with the amount of money spent, but that’s another article all in itself.

Yesterday saw United officially announced the acquisition of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, and with it reports that he could be the highest paid player in England football history.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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