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United dominate sporting rich list

Ruud van Nistelrooy
Van Nistelrooy's United are the world's richest club.

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1. Manchester Utd (Eng) US$289m
2. Juventus (Ita) $251m
3. AC Milan (Ita) $230.2m
4. Real Madrid (Spa) $221.5m
5. Bayern Munich (Ger) $187.1m
6. Inter Milan (Ita) $186.8m
7. Arsenal (Eng) $172m
8. Liverpool (Eng)$171.8m
9. Newcastle Utd (Eng) $159.7m
10. Chelsea (Eng)$153.9m
11. Roma (Ita) $152.3m
12. Bor Dortmund (Ger) $142.6m
13. Barcelona (Spa) $141.9m
14. Schalke 04 (Ger) $136.4m
15. Tottenham (Eng) $109.9m
16. Leeds United (Eng) $105.8m
17. Lazio (Ita) $102.2m
18. Celtic (Sco) $100.1m
19. Lyon (Fra) $96.9m
20. Valencia (Spa)$92.6m
1. New York Yankees $280.4m
2. Washington Redskins $227.3m
3. Boston Red Sox $212.3m
4. Seattle Mariners $208.6m
5. Dallas Cowboys $198.3m
6= San Francisco Giants $193.3m
6= Houston Texans $193.3m
8. New England Patriots $189.3m
9. Cleveland Browns $174.2m
10. New York Mets $173.2m

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- English champions Manchester United top a list of the world's richest soccer clubs, ahead of Italian rivals Juventus and AC Milan.

With an income of $313.8 million in 2002/03, United's revenue is also larger than any sports club in the U.S. where baseball's New York Yankees are top with an approximate $280 million.

United are also comfortably ahead of Juventus, Milan and Spain's Real Madrid.

Bundesliga kings Bayern Munich are next with $187.1 million but the list, compiled by accountants Deloitte, also included some glaring anomalies, including Leeds United, who have debts of around $149.5 million, placed 16th in the rankings.

This occurred because Deloitte only considered revenue, the money coming in from day-to-day business operations, and not outgoings or debt.

Two countries dominate Deloitte's rich list of the world's top 20 clubs, with English clubs making greater use of their stadia and Italians particularly buoyed by Serie A broadcasting revenues.

The rest of the top 10 is headed by Milan's city rivals, Inter, and followed by four English clubs -- Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle United and Chelsea.

Chelsea are expected to move up the list after the takeover last July by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who has already spent $186.8 million on new players in his search for success on the pitch.

Bright future

Looking ahead, Deloitte believe the future is bright for European clubs.

Despite speculation that soccer's finances could be heading for a downturn, the report doubts there will be a drop in earnings from televisions rights and argues that some revenue streams have yet to be fully exploited.

Dan Jones, director of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: "The top clubs in the world's number one sport are generating more income than ever before.

"Broadcast income is the largest single source for most of the clubs and despite the widespread speculation of a collapse in media values, we think this is unlikely.

"At the same time, many of football's leading clubs have a great, and as yet underused, opportunity to significantly develop other income streams, particularly from their stadia.

"For instance, Manchester United's matchday income of 122 million euros is over three times greater than their closest Italian rivals."

Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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