Keir RadnedgeHere is something to brighten up the day for Michel Platini: for the first time in 14 years two German clubs find themselves in the Top 10 of the Deloitte Football Money League.

UEFA’s president and his Financial Fair Play advisers have a lot of time for the German club business model which involves a tight control on financial rectitude by the DFB and DFL and bars foreigners taking a controlling interest.

Proving, perhaps for Platini at least, that good sense pays off both on and off the pitch, Schalke have shot up six places from 16 last year to 10 after a revenue jump of 45pc to €202.4m thanks to an impressive Champions League campaign and a German cup victory.

Record German champions Bayern Munich maintained their record-setting revenue streams despite a comparatively disappointing season, compared with 2009-10, and are fourth for the fourth years in a row.

Further demonstrating the apparent financial health of the German game Borussia Dortmund re-entered the Top 20 with a revenue increase of €33.3m to €138.5m. Hamburg (18) are the fourth German club in this year’s Top 20 despite not having competed in European competition in 2010-11.

Although Spain has ‘only’ three clubs in the ranking Real Madrid, earning €479.5m,
are top for the seventh year in succession with world, European and Spanish champions Barcelona second – though the revenue gap between them is now ‘only’ €28.8m.

Manchester United remain third but quite some distance behind the Liga duo on €367m.

As usual, the Top 20 consists only of clubs in Europe’s ‘Big Five’ leagues – England, Italy, Germany, Spain and France. England leads the way in terms of national presence with six clubs in the Top 20 followed by Italy with five. Germany, as stated, has four with Spain three and France two.

Stefan Ludwig, director of Deloitte’s sport business group, said: “All of this underlines the importance of taking part in the European competitions so clubs can benefit from their share of UEFA’s system of marketing central TV rights.

“But the Hamburg example shows that popular big traditional clubs – Hamburg recorded the second-highest tickets revenue of all the Bundeslioga clubs – can bridge a season without international presence.”

The 20 most profitable European clubs in 2010-11 generated a total €4.4bn, excluding transfer proceeds, which computes at a revenue growth of three per cent by comparison with the previous season.

UEFA’s own recent report into the overall financial health – or lack of it – within the European club game revealed that a cross-section of more than 600 clubs lost more than €1.6bn in 2010 – a 36pc increase and the worst statistics on record.

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said only four of the top 30 leagues in Europe are breaking even, compared with 15 a mere three years ago. Hence the need for Financial Fair Play.

Some leading countries and clubs, as the Deloitte figures show, are better prepared – and suited – than others.

By Keir Radnedge

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