Soccer's Money League: Ridiculous ads that make cash for the top 10 clubs
The world's biggest clubs need more than just on-pitch success to make the big bucks, and that means putting their star players outside of their comfort zone...
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Financial analysts Deloitte have published their annual Football Money League in which they chart the global revenues of the biggest, richest clubs in the world.
The upper echelons of the 2020 table (which is calculated using revenue generated during the 2018-19 season) is totally dominated by the European elite -- with Barcelona making more money than anybody else last season and becoming the first ever club to break the €800 million ($890m) barrier in the process.
Last year's table-toppers, Real Madrid, have been bumped down into second place with Manchester United following on in third -- still well ahead of their Premier League rivals but slowly conceding ground to the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.
For the record, Arsenal narrowly missed out on a place in the top 10, though their fans might well have become accustomed to that sort of thing by now.
But it is not just on-pitch success and TV rights that stuffs the elite's coffers to the brim -- there are various commercial partnerships and corporate wangles that generate big cash for the biggest clubs by putting their star players in all manner of advertisements and photo shoots.
1. Barcelona (global revenue generated in 2018-19: €840.8m)
How Thom Browne became Lionel Messi and @FCBarcelona's tailor of choice (exclusive) https://t.co/XSnTB8TqKW pic.twitter.com/zbfPgU2DOV
As per Deloitte's report, Barca's leap to the summit is a consequence of the club's decision to "take charge of its own merchandising and licensing activities."
This includes large deals with Nike, Rakuten, and fashion designer Thom Browne, who is on board as the Catalan club's "official formal wear partner" and seems to specialise in making Lionel Messi look like a 1930s public schoolboy and Frenkie de Jong seem like he's just leaned against a freshly painted fence.
Hey it's that @ThomBrowneNY model again... pic.twitter.com/M3UZQwLCZp
2. Real Madrid (€757.3m)
They may have surrendered the crown, but Real still haul in plenty of cash through lucrative partnerships with Adidas and Emirates, as well as EA Sports and Nivea.
It gives the Spanish giants leeway to produce adverts of an impressive calibre, like this jaunty vignette of Sergio Ramos and the gang getting on famously with their Emirates flight attendants.
In further good news, Los Blancos can also still boast more fans joining their official Facebook page than their bitter rivals, with 110.8m "likes" last season to Barca's measly 103.2m.
3. Manchester United (€ 711.5m)
United are infamous for striking up vast numbers of bold and bizarre commercial deals around the world, with their bulging portfolio boasting official vision, coffee, mattress, headwear, electrical styling, and denim partners.
However, it's the club's link with winemakers Casillero del Diablo that provided the world with this tour de force of an ensemble performance from Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra.
4. Bayern Munich (€660.1m)
Bayern are the highest German team on the list by some margin, with Borussia Dortmund following on in 12th place.
The Bavarians have several "platinum partners" including Hylo eye care, who seem to specialise in shining intense white light directly into the faces of professional footballers.
5. Paris Saint-Germain (€635.9m)