In the football world, money is at the top does not change hands often. The top seven football clubs in the world in terms of revenue remain unchanged. Real Madrid continues to top the list of the super-rich football clubs, its arch-rivals Barcelona remained in second place, ahead of Manchester United, who stayed third.

The only club that has burst through the top echelons of football clubs is the German club Schalke 04, courtesy of a fine run at the hugely lucrative Champions League.

Here is the full list compiled by the Sports Business Group of consulting firm Deloitte's Football Money League, based on data for season 2010/11, says Real will match Manchester United's eight-year record if they stay top next year.

Together, the top 20 clubs earned 4.4bn euros, a rise of 3% on the previous year.

1. Real Madrid is top of the heap for seven consecutive seasons. Barcelona may have beaten Madrid to the top spot in La Liga and also ensured they were knocked out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage. But they couldn’t wrench the top spot from Madrid rivals who grew their revenues by $261.7 million in the last five years. Revenues were largely generated from broadcast rights, kit sponsorship, merchandising, sponsorship and non match-day activities.

2. Barcelona: Spearheaded by Lionel Messi, on the football field there is no other team that comes close to Barcelona. They have won many titles in the last three years; including La Liga for three consecutive years and the Champions League twice in three years. Due to a rapid rise in revenues they seem to closing down on Real and are just $38.6 million (2010-11) behind them.

3. Manchester United: The English team from Manchester won a record 19th English Premier League title in 2011 and also reached the finals of the Champions League. The English champions keep close on the heels of Barcelona and Real Madrid thanks to a $28.7 million increase in commercial revenue due to a four-year shirt deal with Aon Corporation worth $26.1 million. However, the gap between United and the Spanish top two is increasing.

4. Bayern Munich had a bad year, finishing third in the Bundesliga and making a quiet exit from the Champions League in the knockout phase itself. Compare that to a domestic double and a Champions League final appearance and it becomes clear why Bayern Munich’s revenues have dipped, but Bayren continued to be the leading club in the top ten when it comes to commercial revenues mopping up $232.5 milion from the process.

5. Arsenal:
The Gunners are not the same force they once were known for. They have not won a trophy in the last six consecutive year and haven’t finished in the top two of the English Premier in the same period. But having made it to the Champions League final they were guaranteed big money for their efforts. They lag behind on the commercial revenues front, which accounts for only 20 per cent of its total revenues.

6. Chelsea are at sixth spot, and one below their great London rivals Arsenal, but they are closing the gap. Broadcast revenues were increased by $20.1 million to $132.5 million accounted for almost all of Chelsea’s increase. Chelsea’s poor performance in 2011 was in part due to their miserable Premier League performance (finishing runners-up) and miserable run at the Champions League where they were forced out in the quarters.

7. AC Milan: The first Italian club to pop up in the top ten football clubs in the world is AC Milan. After a long wait of seven years, Milan finally won the Serie A title last year and also reached the round of 16 in the Champions League. If Milan are to move up in the money table they need to boost broadcast revenues, and address stadium issues so that match-day and commercial revenues go up.

8. Internazionale: The FIFA World Cup, the Coppa Italia and the quarters of the Champions League were not enough for them. Revenues for the Nerazzurri dipped by $17.5 million. The only bright spot being getting past Liverpool and bagging the eighth spot. Match-day and broadcast revenues fell, while commercial revenue increased by 12 pc to $7.6 million.

9. Liverpool continued its drop down the top football clubs in the world by slipping one place to eighth. Despite a decrease in match-day and broadcast revenue, Liverpool offset the losses with an increase in commercial revenues by 25 per cent to $101.7 million.

10. Schalke: The biggest climber this year were Schalke, they jumped six spots from 16th last year to take the last spot in the top ten. Revenues grew by a whopping 45 per cent to $265.9 million, thanks largely due to them reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League. Schalke will be unable to replicate this success because they were unable to make it to the Champions League in 2011-12.

(JPN/Agencies)