The 2015/16 Deloitte Money League Table has been released and Arsenal are, yet again, 7th in terms of revenue in world football. Despite increasing revenue by over €30m from the 2014/15 season to €468.5m, the Gunners could not push themselves up the table any further.
For those unfamiliar with the Deloitte report, Deloitte is a multinational accounting and tax firm. They use precise figures on revenue brought in by clubs in world football and rank those clubs by revenue. This is not like Forbes’ list where club values are estimated on seemingly made-up numbers. However, Deloitte does not account for debt or expenditures, which might ping certain other clubs.
The largest portion of gain in revenue for Arsenal was from the overall increase in Champions League payouts. Total broadcasting revenue rose from €167.7m in 2014/15 to €192m this past season. Matchday revenue for the Gunners was roughly even, increasing to €133.6m from €132m. Arsenal continued to lag in commercial revenue growth, increasing by only €7.1m from 14/15 to 15/16 for a total of €142.9m.
The Gunners are third among English clubs behind Manchester United (1, €689m) and Manchester City (5, €524.9m). The again outpace current title favorites Chelsea (8, €447.4m), as well as fellow contenders Liverpool (9, €403.8m) and Tottenham Hotspur (12, €279.7m). Everyone knows Manchester United prints money, but if you’re curious why recent upstarts Manchester City are so high, look to their money-launderingly massive commercial deals, which are nearly €100m more than what the Gunners bring in.
Arsenal are unlikely to push forward ahead of 6th place Paris Saint-Germain, barring a miraculous Premier League and Champions League run to finish the season, who brought in €520.9m last season due to massively oversized commercial deals and increased Champions League revenue. The only chance the Gunners would have would be if the Ligue 1 champs continue to struggle and somehow fall out of a Champions League spot (assuming Arsenal doesn’t do the same). European giants Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich are locks to hold onto their top 5 spots.
All in all, the issue for the Gunners keeping pace, or at least keeping closer with their competitors, is commercial revenue. Arsenal is fifth in commercial revenue in the Premier League, behind United, City, Chelsea, and Liverpool. It’s hard not to see one sub-fourth season having a very negative impact on Arsenal’s financial state. Ivan Gazidis, Vinai Venkatesham, and their staff need to improve in that area or else Arsenal will continue to be tied to league success to keep their elite financial status, unlike competitors United, City, and Chelsea.