Everton, Aston Villa, Fulham and Newcastle catchable in the Deloitte rankings

John McCormick:
John McCormick: looking into financial matters

John McCormick writes: last November I took a look at the Deloitte Money League (https://safc.blog/?p=38977), which ranks clubs according to income from matchdays, broadcasting rights and other commercial activities, including sponsorship …

We weren’t in the Money League
as such as it’s reserved for the top 20 clubs but we had made Deloitte’s top 30 with revenue of €87.9million. I described this as “third division”, on the grounds that Real and Barca were so out in front that they formed a division of their own and the other 18 clubs from the top 20 made a second division.  

With us in the third division were West Ham and Everton, who were just above us, and also Aston Villa and NUFC, who occupied 25th and 24th places respectively.

The news since then has been mixed. Our revenue increased, to €96 million, but the majority of clubs in the Deloitte report did at least as well as us so we had only moved up one place when the 2013 Money League came out. I didn’t expect to make the top 20 (in one season), and it’s gratifying to see that we are establishing ourselves in the top 30, but I would have liked us to have done better, especially as Fulham, who had had a year out of the list, leapfrogged us to replace West Ham, who dropped out following relegation.

So now it’s Fulham, Everton and Villa who occupy three of the places immediately above us. This can be explained by higher merit payments, although it’s the the horse-punchers who best demonstrate the importance of this income strand. Despite a £2 million drop in sponsorship Newcastle’s fifth place finish allowed them to make the Money League itself. They replaced Valencia at number 20 and Deloitte mooted the possibility that they would climb higher if they were to maintain a high Premier position. However, they slumped last season and are likely to slip out of the top 20, despite their European saga and their efforts on the equestrian front.

Returning to Fulham and Villa, we can note that while they also underachieved last season they still did better than us, which means their merit payments will continue to surpass ours. I’m quite ignorant about their other two income strands; neither achieve crowds as big as ours so can presumably only achieve a better matchday income on the back of higher prices, but that’s the limit of my knowledge. I know nothing about their other commercial activity and whether it is capable of improvement. If I were to guess I’d say that as neither Fulham or Villa have a modern stadium they will be ill-equipped to compete against other venues, which leads me think we would pass these two if we achieve a higher finish in the Premier League.

Everton might also be catchable. They have traditionally finished well in the Premier and therefore done well from merit payments but their other two revenue strands are limited and are likely to remain so as their prospects of building a new stadium have receded and I’ve seen nothing recently about better sponsorship deals. We probably only need to rise a few places while they fall, which begs the question: “Will our changes do us more good than their changes?” Maybe, but I’m not holding my breath.

West Ham are a different kettle of fish. Not only will they return to the Deloitte list after finishing well this season, their future’s looking good. They anticipate moving into a revamped 54,000 capacity Olympic stadium  in 2016, with corporate seats and boxes as well as entry level prices.  I believe they will pay rent and have a revenue sharing agreement but even so they will increase their earning potential by a significant amount. I can’t see us catching them unless something goes wrong at their club.

Putting all of this together I’d say that, even allowing for challenges from rivals, we are capable of overtaking some of the Premiership clubs currently above us in Deloitte’s top 30.

Furthermore, passing some European clubs is also possible. Currently 21 of Deloitte’s top 30 are not from the Premier League.

A suggested increase of 20-30 million euros per year from the Premier’s new TV deal could mean we overtake some clubs in leagues which are not as well financed as the Premiership. This could include some formerly prominent clubs such as Valencia, at least temporarily.

Valencia and La Liga rivals Atletico both moved downwards in the Deloitte league recently and, while Atletico’s subsequent qualification for the Champions League will boost them, Valencia only finished fifth in La Liga last season. They already have a relatively poor TV deal and now they will be  deprived of their Champions’ League income. With ownership and financing issues yet to be resolved they look likely to face a couple of sticky years and I can see them sliding downwards.

On the other hand, we can expect competition from elsewhere. PSG have yet to appear in Deloitte’s 30 and when they do arrive, courtesy of the Champions League, it will be with a bang.

Deloitte also notes that the next World Cup will provide a stimulus to the Russian clubs so we could expect a challenge there.

Even longer term, South American clubs could be vying for places. Corinthians crept into sight in the 2013 report. Until I saw them listed I had thought that the Money League focused only Europe. That’s apparently not the case and it lets me finish with a pleasant thought – that Sunderland is one of the top 30 revenue-earning football clubs on the planet. That’s not a bad foundation for a new chief coach to build on, so, Paolo, in the words of your director of football, wake this sleeping giant up!

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Jake flags the new feature allowing you to have your say on topic or off
Jake flags the new feature allowing you to have your say on topic or off
: Fancy leaving a comment? Not sure what you have to say fits this post? Go to the new feature – https://safc.blog/2013/07/salut-sunderland-the-way-it-is/ – and say it there.

8 thoughts on “Everton, Aston Villa, Fulham and Newcastle catchable in the Deloitte rankings”

  1. Jog on, Sunderland have gad their time in the prem, one of the favourites to go down next season for sure. Signing lots of average players is never a good sign. Don’t think you can expect much from di canio apart from blaming everyone but himself when it goes tits up. You should merge with nufc to make one average team instead of 2 shite ones!

    • Dear tom t:
      We don’t sign a lot of average players. We sign a lot of very good ones then make them average. It’s a talent we have. Not many teams can do this.

      (To whoever reads things out for tom t – please explain to him that we don’t take ourselves too seriously but we do expect comments to contain an element of wit. Let him know that his “banter” falls well below our expectations).

  2. I agree, but not completely. I made the point about revenue and profit being different in my first post about Deloitte. In February I gave my opinion that the financial fair play regs would be irrelevant for teams like Man Utd (and others). I also covered the conversion of debt to equity:


    I’ve yet to get to grips with agents, if such a thing is possible.

      • M. Salut is doing some updating to the site – mainly the Way It Is feature. I suggested that it would be preferable for a feature that is aimed at current events to have the most recent comments first. It looks like in setting that up it has affected this post too.

        If people get into the habit of using the Reply box at the end of a comment (rather than leave a reply) it will be in the right place. I haven’t worked out how to move things around.

      • Sorry. I should have done earlier what I have now and added a note within text of this posting to the effect that all Comments now appear in descending order of date, ie the most recent first.

        This seemed necessary for The Way It Is and there doesn’t appear to be any way of reversing the order for one posting only.

  3. All v interesting but revenue doesn’t equal profit. Some clubs can run huge debts and simply manage the interest. ManU are a case in hand. Their cash flow is huge (as in HUGE) so the banks are happy despite them being probably the most indebted club in the game. The Fair Play deal will have an impact. Short has had a say in its composition. Clubs will have to wake up to agents inflating player salaries. Some will leave (Bent, Gyan) some will blackmail their clubs (Benteke springs to mind).

    In some cases clubs owners will convert debt to equity ie shares (eg Fulham) thus wiping out the debt. Eventually interest rates will rise…not in the near future I accept….and when they do clubs carrying/servicing excessive debts will suffer.

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