A new study has placed Celtic in the top 40 earners in world football - but concluded that the club’s meagre broadcast revenue will ‘restrict’ their potential to ever compete for a top 20 spot.
The club’s inability to challenge the game’s biggest earners comes despite the Hoops’ “strong supporter base” which ensures their match-day income allows them to make up for a lack of TV money.
The conclusions were made by financial firm Deloitte, who have published their 17th edition of their Football Money League, which they claim is “the most contemporary and reliable analysis of the clubs’ relative financial performance” for the season 2012-13.
Spanish superpowers Real Madrid have taken the number one spot for the ninth consecutive year, thanks to a revenue of €518.9 million - around £444.7 million.
Despite having six clubs in the top 20 - both Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs - English football saw Manchester United drop out of the top three, with Bayern Munich leapfrogging them with a revenue of £369.6 million.
This year’s findings, which exclude player transfer fees, show a total combined revenue for the top 20 of a massive €5.4 billion (up eight per cent) and includes two new entries - Turkish pair Galatasaray (16th) and Fenerbahce (18th) - from clubs outside Europe’s big five of England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain for the first time.
The chances of Celtic ever making it in amongst the game’s big guns are slim, however, with the top 30 all generating revenue in excess of €100 million.
The Parkhead outfit enjoyed a massive 48 per cent uplift in revenues for the period in question, with Deloitte attributing much of their £75.8 million (€88.5 million) to the successful qualification of Neil Lennon’s side for the last 16 of the Champions League last term.
But, despite the continued backing of fans, Deloitte have identified domestic broadcast income as the main issue hampering Celtic’s ability to keep pace with the world’s highest earners. By contrast, Real Madrid earned £161.4 million from broadcast rights alone.
A spokesman said: “Celtic are amongst the 40 highest revenue generating football clubs in the world, having achieved revenues of £75.8m in 2012-13, an uplift of £24.5m (48 per cent) on the previous year.
“This revenue uplift was driven by the club’s progress to the knock-out stages of the Champions League, which delivered substantial UEFA central distributions and contributed to an increase in match-day revenues due to a higher number of home games at Celtic Park, with a total of 30 in 2012-13 compared to 24 in the previous season.
“Whilst domestic league broadcast contract values are a fraction of those for leagues in larger European markets, restricting Celtic’s ability to compete for a top 20 position in the Money League, the club continues to benefit from a strong supporter base, with an average home league match attendance of 46,754.”
Top 20: 1 Real Madrid - £444.7 million. 2 Barcelona - £413.6 million. 3 Bayern Munich - £369.6 million. 4 Manchester United - £363.2. 5 PSG - £341.8 million. 6 Manchester City - £271 million. 7 Chelsea - £260 million. 8 Arsenal - £243.6 million. 9 Juventus - 233.5 million. 10 AC Milan - £225.8 million. 11 Borussia Dortmund - £219.6 million. 12 Liverpool - 206.2 Million. 13 Schalke 04 - £169.9 Million. 14 Spurs - £147.4 Million. 15 Inter - £144.6 Million. 16 Galatasaray - £134.6 Million. 17 Hamburg - £116 Million. 18 Fenerbahce - £108.3 million. 19 Roma - £106.6 million. 20 Atletico Madrid - £102.8.