Real Madrid, Barcelona retain grip on earnings league
Madrid, who won the Spanish league last May for the 32nd time, became the first club in any sport to generate more than 500 million euros ($664 million)in annual revenues, Deloitte said in its annual Football Money League for 2011-12.
The perennial Spanish rivals retain loyal domestic support, attracting crowds in excess of 80,000 despite Spain's recession and high unemployment. A global fan base also helps them to sign up lucrative international sponsorship deals.
The Spanish duo have the advantage of doing their own television deals rather than selling collectively through a league as their main European rivals do. The downside is that it has added to a polarisation in Spanish soccer where many other clubs are struggling to stay afloat.
England's Manchester United were in third spot behind the Spanish duo despite a fallow season in which they failed to win a trophy for the first time since 2005.
Germany's Bayern Munich were fourth, followed by Champions League winners Chelsea and Premier League rivals Arsenal.
"An unchanged top six emphasises the fact that these clubs have some of the largest fanbases and hence strongest revenues, in both domestic and international markets," said Dan Jones, a partner in the sports business group at Deloitte.
The growing commercialisation of soccer has led to a debate about whether the people's
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