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Real richest in world, says survey

London: Real Madrid have replaced Manchester United as the world’s richest club, says a survey of club finances carried out by World Soccer magazine.

Madrid, with an annual income of £180 million ($300.5 million) have a greater revenue than any other club, according to the figures for 2001-02 when they won the Champions League, and could easily afford to buy David Beckham from their rivals.

Manchester United are second on the list with an income of £148.1 million ($247.2 million). Newly-crowned European champions AC Milan come in fifth.

Only one other Spanish club, Barcelona, features in the top 20, which is made up of eight clubs from England, five from Italy, three from Germany and two from Scotland and Spain.

World Soccer’s research team used a variety of sources. The demands on clubs to disclose financial information are different in each country, and clubs quoted on stock markets often have to provide more information to investors than to their leagues.

In Spain and Germany, clubs have to submit a budget to the League for the next season. This is often very conservative because it envisages a worst-case scenario as far as income is concerned and won’t take into account factors such as a lucrative extended run in the Champions League.

The result is that such budgets, which look forward, often bear little resemblance to published accounts, which are retrospective.

THE TOP 20

1. Real Madrid $300.5 million

2. Manchester United $247.2

3. Juventus $232.5

4. Bayern Munich $209.8

5. AC Milan $192.8

6. Chelsea $192.0

7. Barcelona $176.5

8. AS Roma $171.4

9. Liverpool $165.3

10. Arsenal $151.9

11. Inter Milan $149.9

12. Leeds United $136.1

13. Lazio $133.6

14. Borussia Dortmund $122.0

15. Newcastle United $118.4

16. Tottenham Hotspur $108.5

17. Bayer Leverkusen $95.3

18. Celtic $95.0

19. Aston Villa $78.0

20. Rangers $74.8.

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