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Bayern Munich hold steady in the 2019 Deloitte Football Money League

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Bayern Munich remains in fourth place on the Money League for the third consecutive year as commercial and broadcast revenue experience significant growth.

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Bundesliga/DFL via Getty Images

For the third year running, Bayern Munich has placed fourth in the Deloitte Football Money League. In the 2019 edition, covering the 2017/18 season, Bayern saw overall revenue growth of 7%, from €588m to €629m, a difference of €41.4m (roughly equivalent to the transfer fee of Corentin Tolisso). Bayern has become the fourth club to pass the €600m revenue benchmark at the top of the Money League.

There was some jostling for position ahead of Bayern: Real Madrid leaped to the top of the League after winning an unprecedented third-consecutive Champions League title, enjoying revenue growth of over €75m (from €675 to €751). Barcelona moved up to second place (€690m), while Manchester United fell two spots to third place (€666m — a drop of €10m). Bayern is followed in the Money League by Manchester City (€568m) and Paris Saint-Germain (€542).

Growing reliance on commercial revenue

Bayern Munich’s 2018 revenue profile.
Deloitte Football Money League 2019, p. 18.

Bayern Munich continues to rely increasingly on commercial revenue to sustain its growth, despite improvements to the Bundesliga’s domestic TV-broadcasting deal, which went into effect last season. Bayern’s commercial revenue grew about 2%, from €343.4m in the 2016/17 season to €348.7 last year. Commercial revenue made up a total of 55% of Bayern’s overall revenue in 2017/18, down from 58% in 2016/17.

Despite Bayern’s continued reliance on commercial revenue, Real Madrid passed Bayern to claim first place as “the world’s highest commercial revenue generating football club” (p. 7) in 2017/18. Los Blancos cashed in on an astounding €356.2m (+75m!) buoyed by their Champions League success. Bayern could conceivably reclaim the title soon, however, in light of Real Madrid’s disappointing season in La Liga this season — but they nonetheless remain in the Champions League knockout round.

Broadcast revenue rises significantly

The relative shares of broadcast and matchday revenue fell significantly. Matchday revenue rose slightly from €97.7m in 2016/17 to €103.8m in 2017/18 (a gain of 6%), while broadcast revenue rose significantly from €146.7m to €176.4m, a gain of over 20%.

Bayern Munich’s broadcast and commercial revenue trends.
Deloitte Football Money League 2019, p. 19.

Bayern’s bump in broadcast revenue is a product of the Bundesliga’s new TV-rights deal, which contributed an additional €30m, and some €15.7 distributed by UEFA for Bayern’s performance in the Champions League.

The numbers are a good illustration of why participation in the Champions League is so crucial for Bayern’s competitiveness. Without those boons last season, broadcast revenue would have declined to roughly €130.7m, a drop of €16m or 9.2%. For comparison, Borussia Dortmund’s broadcasting revenue also fell by €3.5m (from €125.8 to €122.3), since its early exit from the Champions League erased similar gains from the new Bundesliga TV-rights deal.

The Bundesliga falls further behind

The outlook for the rest of the Bundesliga is somewhat bleak. Despite the boost from the Bundesliga’s new TV-rights deal, only three clubs — Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund (12th: €317.2m), and Schalke (16th: €243.8m) remain in the top thirty wealthiest clubs in the Football Money League. Borussia Mönchengladbach (25th last year) failed to make the cut for the first time since 2014/15. Dortmund is on course for an excellent 2018/19 season, and Gladbach will likely also return to Champions League competition next year, but trouble looms ahead for Schalke: although their surprising advance to the Round of 16 will bring them a rich return, their dismal domestic showing virtually guarantees they will not feature in the Champions League next season. Which other German club will make the cut remains to be seen — RB Leipzig is currently 4th with 31 points, Eintracht Frankfurt in 5th with 30, but only five points separate them from 9th place.