Cats leapfrog Mags for cash

Niall Quinn
Niall Quinn
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SUNDERLAND AFC have jumped above Newcastle in football’s financial rich list.

Newcastle’s catastophic relegation from the Barclays Premier League the season before last was the big factor in the Black Cats leapfrogging their bitter rivals.

It saw the Wearsiders grow their squad, while the Magpies were forced to try to balance their books, says the latest analysis of football finances from accountants Deloitte.

Newcastle had no relegation clauses in their player’s contracts, leaving the club saddled with a Championship squad on Premiership wages.

The Magpies saw revenues tumble while their wage bill remained constant, leaving a black hole in the club’s finances for the 2009-10 season, while the Black Cats’ top flight survival meant the club retained the massively superior Premier League TV money.

Deliotte estimates Newcastle was the 20th biggest club in the world in financial terms in the 2008/9 season, with Sunderland ranked somewhere between 30 and 40.

But Sunderland retaining Premier League status meant the club remained steady in the financial rankings, while Newcastle tumbled to somewhere between 40th and 50th.

The Premier League’s three-year £2.8billion broadcasting rights deal was worth a minimum of £38.8million to top flight clubs in the 2009-10 season. Even the biggest Championship clubs receive a fraction of that.

The importance of Sunderland retaining their Premier League status – and of Newcastle regaining it at the first time of asking – is emphasised by the scale of the new deal, which will see top flight clubs sharing £3.6billion over the next three seasons.

Today’s report highlights the sheer amount of money in European football, with the Premier League’s massive riches still not enough to secure a top five finish in the financial top flight.

Barcelona are ranked the world’s richest side, with reported revenue of £178.1million for the 2008-9 season – almost three times more than Sunderland’s £64million.

Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus make up the rest of the top five, with Manchester United’s £128million revenue only enough to secure the Red Devils sixth place, ahead of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool and then Bayern Munich in tenth place.

And because the league measures revenue, rather than available funds, Manchester City can only manage 14th place, despite the club’s seemingly bottomless pockets.

Premier League sides made up eight of the top 20, with TV cash from Fulham’s Europa League adventure enough to see the Cottagers pinch Newcastle’s 20th place, with revenue of £62million.

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