Football as a brand and business is massive. Across the world millions of people engage themselves with the sport, and Europe is undoubtedly the continent receiving the most attention in terms of its domestic leagues.
With Germany crowned World Champions in Brazil, Europe is in the spotlight and will be under pressure to deliver a winning candidate for the next tournament in Russia in 2018.
But what about behind the scenes? How much are Europe’s top football clubs worth?
Forbes released its list of the 20 richest clubs in the world, and all of them are based here. In terms of the top 10, big names such as Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan and Spanish champions Atletico Madrid all missed out.
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See below which clubs are the 10 most valuable in Europe (based on more than just 2013/14 revenues), and the world.
#10 Liverpool (England) - €548 million
Owned by Fenway Sports Group (based in America), Liverpool’s earnings will no doubt increase this year because of the club’s entrance into the Champions League. Last season it turned over £206 million (up from £169 million in 2012), with £45 million coming from gate receipts and £64 million from TV rights. Steven Gerrard is the highest earner with £140,000 a week wages.
#9 Juventus (Italy) - €674 million
Italian Serie A champions Juventus made more than $110 million from Champions League football and TV rights during the course of the 2013/14 season. Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez earns €5.5 million a year under his contract at the Turin club.
#8 AC Milan (Italy) - €677 million
AC Milan tuned over €329 million last season with a massive €139 million coming from TV. The club spent €115 on wages, with French defender Philippe Mexes alone earning €4 million. Despite what appears a huge turnover, the business only made €4.9 million in profit.
#7 Manchester City (England) - €684 million
Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi Group is Manchester City’s owner and one of the richest people in the world. The English champions turned over £271 million last season and a massive £233 million of this went on player wages with manager Manuel Pellegrini earning £5 million.
#6 Chelsea (England) - €688 million
Chelsea owner Roman Ambramovich saw his club move up from seventh to sixth most valuable football club in Europe with the business turning over £260 million in 2013/14. Manager Jose Mourinho reportedly earns £8.5 million a year with Spaniards Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa on £200,000 a week.
#5 Arsenal (England) - €1.05 billion
Arsenal’s relatively new home at the Emirates has allowed the club to take more than £90 million in gate receipts and matchday incomes. Consistent Champions League appearance also help to propel it into the top five, with wage bills coming in lower than Manchester City and Chelsea. Mezut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are the highest earners, each netting £140,000 a week.
#4 Bayern Munich (Germany) - €1.47 billion
Germany’s biggest and wealthiest club by far, and Champions League winners in the 2012/13 season. Revenues for last season hit a massive €468 million, with manager Pep Guardiloa receiving £12.8 million a year. Only €26 million came in from broadcasting.
#3 Manchester United (England) - €2.23 billion
Arguably the biggest brand in global football, Manchester United have been pushed off second place by Barcelona, and income will no doubt drop this year because of the lack do Champions League football. TV rights money and commercial activity netted the club £155 million in 2013/14, and Wayne Rooney earns £300,000 a week.
#2 FC Barcelona (Spain) - €2.54 billion
Luis Suarez became Bareclona’s record signing and pairs with Brazilian striker Neymar to create one of the most well-recognised partnerships in world football. Lionel Messi completes a deadly trio of South American players, earning £256,000 a week after tax.
#1 Real Madrid (Spain) - €2.7 billion
The richest club in the world and home to the world’s most expensive and highest-paid players respectively in Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo. Their global superstar line-up also comprises Colombian revelation from the World Cup, James Rodriguez, German World Cup Winner Toni Kroos and Spanish goalkeeping icon Iker Casillas. Ronaldo earns £288,000 a week after tax, and is the world’s most iconic and money-spinning footballer, no doubt helping push the club into the position of the world’s richest.