Soccer is the most watched sport in the world and also the sport that draws most traffic to betting sites. The European club teams are the most popular. Football fans are excited about which club will win the UEFA Champions League, but they are equally excited about what happens behind the scenes. The leading financial consultancy firm Deloitte releases every year a list of the 10 richest European football clubs. The rankings are based on match day earnings, television revenue and commercial money. The list for 2011 has just been released and makes for interesting reading.
It may come as a surprise to some that Spanish football clubs are on top. Real Madrid is #1 on the list and has occupied the top spot for the last six years. Their earnings for the 2010/11 season totaled €438.6 million, which showed an increase of almost 10% over last year. FC Barcelona was second with earnings of €365.9 million. When Deloitte first began compiling this list Manchester United had topped for eight years in a row, but this year is at #3. The other two clubs in the top five are Bayern Munich and Arsenal.
An Interesting question is whether the earning of a club has any relation to its performance. The UEFA Champions League is a proper parameter for performance. Real Madrid has won the championship nine times, which is more than any other club. Barcelona and Manchester United have won it thrice and Bayern Munich has won it four times. Arsenal, which is #5 on the earnings list, has yet to win the Champions League. AC Milan which has won seven times is #7 on the list.
Another question is whether the earning’s ranking correlates with the chances of winning in the 2010/11 season. Bodog.com is a popular soccer betting site. It has offered odds for the outright winner for the UEFA Champions League. One can gauge the chances of winning from the betting odds. Barcelona is favorites with odds of 3.00, followed by Real Madrid with odds of 4.50. In third place is Chelsea, which is at #6 on the earnings list. Next are Manchester United and Bayern Munich with much longer odds.
Hence one can conclude that there appears to be a correlation between earnings and performance, both performance over time and immediate prospects.