Latest reports from Forbes annual rich list showed that Manchester United had leapfrogged Real Madrid as the richest football club in the world.
This feat was achieved despite Manchester United’s lowly sixth place finish in the Premier League.
Coached by charismatic Portuguese, Jose Mourinho, Manchester United won the EUROPA Cup and therefore qualified for the UEFA Champions League. They had earlier won the Carling Cup which many considered to be an ‘insignificant trophy’.
Manchester United generated record revenues of $765 million — over $75 million more than Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid — aided by an unprecedented domestic television deal, global commercial reach and an Adidas kit sponsorship arrangement worth a reported $90 million per year.
United, owned the Glazer family, is also substantially the most profitable, posting operating income of $288 million more than fellow English clubs Arsenal ($122 million), Chelsea ($52 million, Liverpool ($29 million) and Tottenham Hotspur ($68 million) combined.
Real Madrid couldn’t maintain its top standing even with the impeccable season they just had by winning LaLiga and the Champions League. Zidane’s magic and exploits on the pitch was only good for the second spot on the rich list table.