Most Profitable Football Clubs in Europe [Top 10] | SQaF (2023)

We live in a time where multi-million pound transfers and eye-watering high wages have become normal in modern football. However, it is these same incredible feats that have instigated the downfall of some of the greatest football clubs in European history.

Although many top European clubs have found themselves in substantial debt during the past few years, several teams have managed to stay profitable whilst competing in the most prestigious leagues across the globe.

Why Are Football Clubs in Debt?

Many football clubs are in debt as they spend more than they make. The COVID-19 crisis has certainly played a key factor over the past two years, with UEFA reporting an estimated 7.2 billion euros loss in revenue between football clubs in Europe from 2019-2021.

Covid prevented supporters from attending live games, severely halting the club’s revenue streams. Barcelona reportedly earned a staggering €300 million per season from ticket and merchandise sales, therefore a large portion of that income was lost due to covid.

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(Video) Top 10 Best Football Clubs by UEFA ranking (2000 - 2021)


(Video) Top 10 Most Successful Football Clubs In Europe 2020

Poor player transfer decisions and a decrease in revenue have led to many falling into debt, with Barcelona in particular owing up to 1.35 billion euros.

Despite this loss over the past two years, club spending has continued to grow with over £1 billion being spent by Premier League clubs alone in the 2020 transfer windows.

Top European clubs have continued to increase their spending whilst losing revenue, a strategy that was unsustainable over the last few years.

Clubs like French giants PSG and Premier League champions Manchester City have succeeded over the past decade thanks to world-record spending. PSG still hold the record for purchasing the top two most expensive players in the world, Neymar for €222 million and Kylian Mbappe for €145 million.

With all this high-level spending it is easy to understand why PSG, one of the wealthiest clubs in the world, announced a debt of €70 million at the end of 2020. However, not every club has fallen into this pit of financial difficulties thanks to smart transfer decisions and committed investments from owners.

Do Any Football Clubs Make a Profit?

In European football, only 10 teams recorded a profit of £1 million or more during the period from 2019 to 2021. With over 1000 professional clubs in Europe, this means that less than 1% were significantly profitable.

Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle and Norwich were the only Premier League clubs able to profit; Aston Villa and Burnley broke even despite the drop in revenue thanks to player sales and injections of cash from their owners.

Although the Dutch Eredivisie does not generate as much commercial and broadcasting revenue for its clubs compared to the top five European leagues, Ajax and AZ Alkmaar are remarkably still in the top ten for most profitable sides in Europe.

European competitions such as the Europa League and Champions League have benefited many sides financially. SportingNews reported that all 32 clubs that reach the group stage of the Champions League receive a share of the £2.44 billion generated from the competition’s revenue.

Clubs such as Napoli, Villarreal and Atalanta have been able to develop greatly from this added income as they have also remained profitable over the past few years.

Most Profitable Football Clubs in Europe [Top 10]

From the top ten clubs that receive the highest amount of overall revenue, only Chelsea and Liverpool have remained profitable since 2019.

Chelsea reported an impressive profit margin of £33 million at the end of 2020 after a net sum of £93.7 million was invested in the squad.

Despite seeing a loss in broadcasting, matchday and commercial revenue, the London club has been able to rise as the most profitable club in the top European leagues.

Closely behind the 2021 Champions League winners is Serie A outfit Napoli. The Italian club boasted an impressive profit margin of 30 million euros due to their player sales and additional European competition income.

Premier League side Liverpool follow closely, with the club’s profit margin rising to £29 million and their overall revenue to a staggering £814 million despite the deductions caused by covid.

This profit was propelled by the eight new partnerships announced since the beginning of the virus, whilst Nivea and Carlsberg renewed their existing long-term deals with the club.

(Video) Top 10 World's Richest Football Clubs by Revenue (2000 - 2022) | Most Valuable Soccer Teams 2022

European Football Clubs with the Highest Revenue [Top 10]

European ClubRevenue (Annual)
Man City£955 Million
Chelsea£898 Million
PSG£894 Million
Manchester United£835 Million
Liverpool£814 Million
Bayern Munich£736 Million
Real Madrid£700 million
Barcelona£694 Million
Atletico Madrid£656 Million
Tottenham Hotspur£633 Million

Most Profitable European Football Clubs [Top 10]

European ClubNet Profit (2019-2021)
Chelsea£33 million
Napoli£30 million
Liverpool£29 million
Atalanta£26 million
Ajax£20 million
Newcastle£14 million
Villarreal£12 million
AZ Alkmaar£8 million
RB Leipzig£4 million
Norwich City£3 million

How Can More Football Clubs Make More?

Top European sides see a significant amount generated through European competitions such as the Europa and Champions League, with 2021 Champions League winners, Chelsea, earning a staggering £23.18 million.

Runners up, Man City, also received a hefty fee, earning £18.3 million for second place.

Commercial selling has always been an effective tool for increasing profit margins at football clubs with sponsorship and merchandise income largely making up net profit margins.

It is estimated that Manchester United sell an average of 1.7 million football kits yearly, generating an incredible revenue stream roughly around £80-90 million per year.

The most recent example of high-volume merchandise selling would be that of PSG, as they were able to make €23.7 million through online sales of Lionel Messi’s club shirt on the first day. Due to the player’s status and the use of online retail, the club sold 150,000 tops in the first seven minutes of its release.


Although Europe’s top football clubs have been able to generate billions in revenue in modern football, their method of overspending on player transfers, whilst losing revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, has left many struggling with financial debt.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has been able to help Chelsea remain profitable with his injections of cash into the playing squad, making the Blues one of the most profitable clubs in the world.

Despite the loss in revenue for many clubs, teams such as Norwich, Villarreal and Ajax have been able to sell their top players to help make them profitable whilst attempting to sign cheaper replacements for the future.

With the world beginning to galvanise after the chaos of covid, top European clubs will likely continue to spend big as matchday and commercial revenue will return to help maximise their profit margins.

Most Profitable Football Clubs in Europe [Top 10] | SQaF (7)

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Which football club is the richest in Europe? ›

Real Madrid is the richest football club in the world in 2022. It has a net value of $5.1 billion as of 2022. This team is based in Spain and is owned by various club members.

Which club is the richest in Europe 2022? ›

Barcelona were named the world's richest football club in 2021, according to the Deloitte rankings, but Manchester City have risen to the summit in 2022 after generating revenue of €644.9 million (£537m/$709m).

Who is the richest football in the world 2022? ›

Faiq Bolkiah is the richest football players in the world with his net worth estimated $20 Billion in 2022. A member of the Bruneian Royal Family, he also served as the captain of the Brunei national team.

Who is the most successful club in Europe? ›

Real Madrid

Which teams make the most money? ›

  • #1. $8 billion. DALLAS COWBOYS. ...
  • #2. $6.4 billion. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS. ...
  • #3. $6.2 billion. LOS ANGELES RAMS. ...
  • #4. $6 billion. NEW YORK YANKEES. ...
  • #4. $6 billion. NEW YORK GIANTS. ...
  • #10. $5.5 billion. LOS ANGELES LAKERS. ...
  • #15. $5 billion. BARCELONA. ...
  • #19. $4.6 billion. MIAMI DOLPHINS.
8 Sept 2022

How top teams make their money? ›

Sponsorships. This is a significant source of revenue for the major teams in the world. In the form of kit sponsorships, stadium naming rights, shirt sponsorships, sleeve sponsorships, and other sponsorships you can think of. Top brands spend a lot of money to be associated with clubs.

Which is the richest football club now? ›

1 Manchester City Is The Richest Football Club In 2022 With A Revenue Of €644.9 million.

Who is the richest club in England in 2022? ›

Currently, Manchester United is the richest Premier League football club in England 2022.

Which club has more fans in the world? ›

Real Madrid is the most followed football club and team in the world in 2022.

Which club is the richer in the world? ›

The World's Most Valuable Soccer Teams 2022: Real Madrid, Worth $5.1 Billion, Is Back On Top. New!

What is the most expensive club in the world 2022? ›

Spanish giants Real Madrid have been named as the world's most valuable football club. The Los Blancos have topped the Forbes' fresh list and are valued at $5.1 billion — $350 million more than last year.

Which club is the most successful club in the world 2022? ›

Real Madrid- Best Football Club in the World

The club is roughly estimated to be worth $5.1billion as of 2022. As per records, Real Madrid has 35 La Liga trophies and 14 Champions League trophies under their belt.

Who is the biggest football club in the world 2022? ›

Real Madrid – 4.80 Billion US $

Overview – The arch-rival of Barcelona and the biggest football club on the planet is Real Madrid. The 13-time champion of Europe Real Madrid is often considered the most supported club in the world as well.

Who is No 1 richest player in the world? ›

Faiq Bolkiah

Which football player is a billionaire? ›

Is Messi a billionaire? According to Goal, Lionel Messi's net worth in 2022 is valued at a whopping $400 million.
4. Lionel Messi $400 million.
NameLionel Andrés Messi
Club(s)PSG, Barcelona
Position and numberForward (30)
3 more rows
10 Aug 2022

Who is most goal scorer in the world? ›

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, with 118 goals in 192 matches and counting, has scored the most goals in international football in the men's game.

Which club in Europe has more fans? ›

Real Madrid

Which club has the most fans in Europe? ›

Top 10 Premier League Football Clubs with Most Fans in the World in 2022 (Updated)
  • Manchester United.
  • Chelsea.
  • Liverpool.
  • Manchester City.
  • Arsenal.
  • Tottenham.
  • Leicester.
  • Aston Villa.

Who has highest trophies in Europe? ›

Real Madrid

What sport gets paid the most? ›

Basketball is the most lucrative sport globally, which is not surprising. The finest basketball players in the NBA not only make millions of dollars in payments each year, but they also receive more endorsements and sponsorship money than any other athlete in any other sport.

Which sport is worth the most money? ›

Top 10 Largest Sports Leagues by Revenue in the World 2020
RankSports LeagueRevenue (USD billions)
6 more rows
29 Jul 2022

Which soccer league brings in the most money? ›

Premier League teams earned a combined $6.2 billion in the 2021-22 season.

Which sport makes the most money for owners? ›

Top 5 sports that generate the most money
  • NFL – American Football. From a purely financial standpoint, the NFL is the king. ...
  • MLB – Baseball. Baseball is another sport that lacks a genuinely worldwide following, with most of its supporters hailing from North America. ...
  • NBA – Basketball. ...
  • IPL – Cricket. ...
  • EPL – Football (Soccer)
5 Feb 2022

Do football clubs actually make money? ›

How do football clubs make their money? Football clubs generate their revenue through several different sources, including matchday sales, stadium hiring fees, sponsorship deals, merchandise sales, TV broadcasting deals, prize money, and player transfers. The primary source of income naturally varies from club to club.

Do football clubs make a lot of money? ›

The football industry has become one of the most lucrative and competitive industries in the financial world. The value of football clubs have soared over the last 30 years and entrepreneurs from around the world are now desperate to try and get involved within a market that is still yet to reach its ceiling.

Who is the best player in the world? ›

#1. Lionel Messi (PSG & Argentina) (Total Football Goals: 798) The Argentine great turned 35 this June but even at his age, the veteran hasn't lost his ability to weave magic on the pitch. In his first season away from his childhood club Barcelona, Messi finished with 11 goals and 15 assists in 34 appearances overall.

Which club is the richest in London? ›

Arsenal are the richest club in London, according to a report published in the Evening Standard.

Who is the richest footballer in England? ›

Paul Pogba tops the charts for UK-based footballers. According to the newspaper, the 29-year-old midfielder is worth £77m – a substantial amount more than any of his peers.

Who is No 1 football team in world? ›

The FIFA Men's World Ranking is a ranking system for men's national teams in association football, currently led by Brazil.

Which club has most English fans? ›

Related Content
#Football TeamNumber of Fans
01Manchester United75,012,095
03Manchester City40,715,173
16 more rows
13 Jun 2022

Is there a club for billionaires? ›

If you are rich enough to join, then you don't have to pay to be a member. That is the central idea behind what might be dubbed “the billionaire's club,” a series of conferences for family offices and ultra-high net worth individuals that has been running for a decade.

Who is the richest club owner in Europe? ›

The wealthiest football club owner in the world in 2022 is Sheikh Mansour. He owns Manchester City and has a net worth of $30 billion.

What is the strongest team in the football in 2022? ›

The 33 best football teams in the world 2022/2023
  • #1. Manchester City. 100.
  • #2. Arsenal FC. ...
  • #3. FC Bayern Munchen. ...
  • #6. ...
  • #7. Brighton &amp; Hove Albion. ...
  • #8. Newcastle United. ...
  • #9. Liverpool FC. ...
  • #10. Tottenham Hotspur.

What is the largest club in the world? ›

Privilege Ibiza

Who is world's most successful team? ›

With five titles, Brazil is the most successful World Cup team and also the only nation to have participated in every World Cup finals tournament. Italy and Germany have four titles.

Who is the most successful club in history? ›

1Real Madrid42.35 %
2Manchester United9.69 %
3Bayern Munich9.18%
16 more rows

Who is the king of football in 2022? ›

1. Lionel Messi (PSG)

Which stadium is the biggest in FIFA? ›

Of all the grounds built specifically for soccer, Camp Nou is likely the largest stadium that consistently holds regular fixtures. It is the home ground of FC Barcelona – one of the most prestigious soccer clubs in the world.

Who is the richest club in England 2022? ›

Currently, Manchester United is the richest Premier League football club in England 2022.

Who is the richest club owner in the world 2022? ›

The wealthiest football club owner in the world in 2022 is Sheikh Mansour. He owns Manchester City and has a net worth of $30 billion.

What is the biggest club in Europe? ›

Real Madrid

Who is the richest club of all time? ›

According to statistics provided by Forbes magazine, FC Barcelona is the richest club in football history, and the club is worth a huge sum of 4.76 billion dollars as of April 2021.

Which club has the most fans in the world 2022? ›

Real Madrid is the most followed football club and team in the world in 2022.

Who is richest football player in the world? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo, 37 – US$100 million

Since moving back to Manchester United in 2021, Ronaldo has held his No 1 position in the Premier League for a base salary of some US$575,000 per week, according to Sportrac.

Who is the richest player in the world? ›

Faiq Bolkiah

Who is the richest in Premier League? ›

Summary of the richest Premier League owners
1Saudi Public Investment FundNewcastle United
2Sheikh MansourManchester City
3Stan KroenkeArsenal
4Shahid KhanFulham
6 more rows
9 Nov 2022

Who is the king of Europe in football? ›

It was first awarded in 1991 with French Jean-Pierre Papin having been the inaugural winner. The last winner was Argentine Lionel Messi in 2012. Messi and Zinedine Zidane are the record winners of the award with four wins each.
Most wins by player.
PlayerNumber of wins
Lionel Messi4
1 more row

What are the 3 biggest stadiums in Europe? ›

Europe's largest football stadiums
1Camp Nou99,354
2Wembley Stadium90,000
3Signal Iduna Park81,359
4Estadio Santiago Bernabeu81,044
67 more rows

Which team has money in Europe? ›

The piles of cash thrown off by European soccer competitions are a big reason that Real Madrid, worth $5.1 billion, 7% more than last year, has reclaimed its spot as the world's most valuable soccer team.


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