The Catalans have fallen significantly in Deloitte’s annual list, with their drop in fortunes on the pitch mirrored on the balance sheet
By Kris Voakes, International Football Writer
Barcelona are no longer one of the three highest-earning clubs in the world, having plummeted down the Deloitte Football Money League in 2013-14.
The annual revenue list, topped for an incredible 10th straight year by Real Madrid, shows Barcelona have fallen behind Manchester United and Bayern Munich into fourth place after recording only a €2 million increase in receipts on 2012-13 – the smallest gain among the top 10 clubs.
The blow comes despite the high-profile signing of Brazilian superstar Neymar in the summer of 2013, with commercial revenue having fallen by two per cent over the last two full seasons. The slump also coincides with a period during which the club was at the centre of a scandal which saw the resignation as president of Sandro Rosell.
Austin Houlihan, senior manager at Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, told Goal that the drop is a natural response to their relative lack of success in recent times.
“Barcelona is an interesting one insomuch as their revenue growth, when comparing 2013-14 to the previous year, isn’t as great as some of the other clubs around them,” said Houlihan.
“But really that is a consequence of the previous couple of years prior to the period we’re talking about being unprecedented in terms of on-pitch success.
“That on-pitch success they had three or four years ago drove exceptionally high revenue so it’s natural that not being quite as successful on the pitch has driven a slightly lower level of growth.”