Man U must make Champions League after Rich List blow
More pressure on David Moyes as struggling United fall behind Bayern Munich in money league
POOR old Manchester United. Dumped out of the FA Cup by Swansea, humbled in the League Cup by Sunderland and struggling to last the pace in the Premier League, the Red Devils have now for the first time dropped out of the top three in Deloitte's football rich list.
It used to be that United always vied for top honours in the minted stakes with Real Madrid and Barcelona, but while the two Spanish giants are still flying high, the reigning English champions have been bounced out of the top three by Bayern Munich.
The findings, based on revenues in the 2012-13 season, reveal that while Real head the rich ratings with revenues of €518.9m (the ninth year in a row they've occupied pole position) and Barcelona are second, United have been overtaken by the reigning European champions.
Bayern's revenue for the 2012-13 season - in which they were also crowned Bundesliga champions as well as winning the German cup - was €431.2m, eight million more than United who raked in €423.8m.
Bayern's revenue therefore shot up an incredible 17 percent – or put another way, €62.8m. French champions Paris Saint-Germain rose to fifth, thanks in part to the presence of merchandise magnet David Beckham who had a six-month spell in the French capital last season.
The next best English club was Manchester City in sixth (€316.2m), then Chelsea in seventh with €303.4m and in eighth were Arsenal, who despite nine trophy-less years, saw their revenue increase in 2012-13 to €284.3m.
But despite the slip down the rich rankings, United's revenue actually increased in 2012-13 compared to the previous season, from €395.9m to €423.8m. And as we reported yesterday, there are reasons for United to be cheerful despite the tough times they are currently enduring.
"Whilst Manchester United drop one place in the Money League, a number of the club's recent commercial deals will boost revenue in 2013-14, so this fall to fourth place may only be temporary," Deloitte's Austin Houlihan told BBC Sport. "These deals, combined with the impact of the improved three-year Premier League broadcast deals from 2013-14, mean they are likely to get close to the €500m revenue mark in next year's Money League."
But Houlihan did add a caveat, one that will cause no end of worry within the United boardroom. "Beyond 2013-14," he warned, "consistent qualification for the Champions League is key in United challenging to regain top spot in the Money League."
United lie seventh in the Premier League and though there remains plenty of time to make up the gap on the top four, the pressure on manager David Moyes will only increase with the release of the Rich List.