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Bayern Munich stay in 4th place in Deloitte’s Football Money League

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The Bavarian giant holds strong despite a decline in revenue, highlighting the difficulties faced by the Bundesliga.

FC Bayern Muenchen - Annual General Assembly Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Bayern Munich maintained its position in 4th place in the 2018 edition of Deloitte’s Football Money League despite a slight decline (.7%) in total revenue from €592m in 2016 to €587.8m in 2017. Bayern was the only top-five club whose revenue declined in its home currency.

The Money League was topped by Manchester United for the second year in a row (€676.3m), followed by Real Madrid (€674.6m) and Barcelona (€648.3m). Manchester City (€527.7m) and Arsenal (€487.6m) are chasing Bayern in 5th and 6th place.

Bayern’s backwards revenue sources

Bayern Munich’s 2017 revenue profile.
Deloitte Football Money League 2018, p. 16.

Bayern Munich earn more commercial revenue than any other club, totally €325.2m in 2017 or 48% of Bayern’s total revenue, while its broadcast revenue stood only at €225.9m or 33% of Bayern’s total revenue. Bayern thus stands in direct contradiction to a broad trend in the Money League for the share of broadcast revenue to increase at the expense of commercial revenue.

The average shares of broadcast and commercial revenue in the Money league are virtually the opposite of Bayern’s: broadcast revenue now is the the largest revenue source for Money League clubs, on average 45%, while commercial revenue has fallen to just 38% of total revenue on average (and matchday revenue at just 17%).

Staying afloat in the Bundesliga: broadcast revenue

Bayern Munich’s commercial revenue remained stable despite an early exit from the Champions League last season. Bayern’s failure to increase its total revenue, however, is largely due to the failure of Bundesliga broadcast revenue to keep pace with its rivals in La Liga and especially the English Premier League.

Bayern Munich’s broadcast and commercial revenue trends.

Whereas other clubs have seen dramatic increases in broadcast revenue, Bayern’s and the Bundesliga’s generally have remained flat. The discrepancy is illustrated by the case of Southampton: a newcomer to the Money League’s top 20, the English club can thank its success to a staggering 58% increase in its broadcast revenue, totally £143, more than the club’s total revenue in 2015/16.

Bundesliga struggles: Dortmund and Schalke

While Bayern maintained its position, domestic rival Borussia Dortmund fell from 11th to 12th place despite a significant increase in revenue (from €283.9 in 2016 to €332.6m in 2017). Schalke similarly fell from 14th to 16th place despite a modest increase in revenue (€230.2m). Both clubs' failure to advance in the Champions League this season makes it unlikely that they will rise in rank next year.

Some hope is on the horizon for German clubs, though, as the Bundesliga will negotiate a new four-year broadcasting deal beginning in 2017/18. This should see broadcast rights value increase somewhat over the previous cycle, and improved distributions will help German clubs generally, but it is unlikely that these changes will suffice to see Bayern vault higher in the Money League.

The Deloitte Football Money League top 10 at a glance: