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Barcelona topple Real Madrid at top of Deloitte Football Money League

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Together, the 20 highest earning football clubs in the world generated a record €9.3bn (£8.2bn) of combined revenue in 2018-19, an increase of 11% on the previous year. In the top 20 there are few clubs that appear outside the top five competitions in Europe.

Deloitte's Football Money League 2020 puts Barcelona in top position with record revenues of €841 million, making it the first club to break the €800 million barrier.

Tottenham Hotspur are eighth, the club's highest ever position following last season's run to the Champions League final, and have overtaken Arsenal and Chelsea to become London's highest revenue generating club for the first time since 1996/97.

Meanwhile, the list is entirely made up of clubs from the top five European leagues - England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain - reflecting the make-up of this season's Champions League last 16 and demonstrating the difficulty faced by teams from smaller nations in competing at the top level.

"Manchester United have been the top English club since we started the Money League but that could come under a bit of pressure when we do it in 2021", he said.

"That will cover this season when Liverpool are having a tremendous season on the pitch, so we think there's a possibility of United losing that number one position".

Barcelona was second behind its Spanish rival Real Madrid in 2017-18, with the two swapping places this year, marking a second consecutive year of the Spanish giants occupying the top two spots.

"The impact of participation and performance in UEFA club competitions on revenue is evident in London and the northwest, with the rise of Liverpool, Manchester City and Spurs driven by reaching the Champions League knockout stages", said Sam Boor of Deloitte's Sports Business Group. Los Blancos raised € 757.3 million over the course of the season, which was enough to take second place ahead of Manchester United.

For more insights, check out the Deloitte Money League here.

While Manchester United remain with the elite, the club are now forecasting revenues of £560-£580m in 2019/20 as a result of not qualifying for this season's Champions League.

In Barcelona's case, though, Deloitte says its success has been in bringing merchandising and licensing activities in-house and in so doing, reducing reliance on broadcasting revenues.

"With the club expecting further growth of 30m euros (£25.5m) in commercial revenues and total revenue of nearly 880m euros (£749.5m) in 2019-20, we expect them to retain the top spot in next year's edition".

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