LONDON -- Real Madrid and Barcelona are again the biggest moneymakers in world football.
The Spanish rivals took first and second place in Deloitte's annual study of the sport's finances, with English champion Manchester United slipping a place to third because of the weakness of the British pound rather than its 716.5 million-pound (790 million; $1.07 billion) debt.
Madrid generated 401.4 million ($567.3 million as at June 30, 2009) in the 12 months to June 30, 2009, according to the report released Tuesday by British accountancy firm Deloitte.
European champion Barcelona was ranked second in the list of 20 biggest clubs according to revenue with 365.9 million ($517.2 million), moving up a place to return to the position it occupied two years ago.
Although the economic downturn meant that nine sides showed a decrease in revenue in local currency, the combined income of the top 20 clubs was about 26 million ($36.7 million) up on the previous year at 3.9 billion ($5.5 billion).
"We continue to assert that the game's top clubs are well-placed to meet the challenges presented by the difficult economic environment," said Dan Jones of Deloitte's sports business group. "Their large and loyal supporter bases, ability to drive broadcast audiences and continuing attraction to corporate partners provide a strong base to underpin revenues."
Despite a disappointing season in which it finished runner-up in Spain to Barcelona and again failed to progress beyond the first knockout round of the Champions League, Madrid kept first place in Deloitte's list for a fifth straight year.
Madrid's contract with Mediapro helped push up income from broadcast 18 percent to 160.8 million ($227.3 million). Manchester United generated 43.7 million ($61.8 million) less from broadcasting than Madrid despite receiving 18.1 million ($25.6 million) more from Champions League distributions.
"The ability of Spanish clubs to sell their broadcast rights on an individual basis gives the country's larger clubs a substantial competitive advantage compared with their English, French, German and, from 2010-11, Italian peers," Deloitte said.
Manchester United generated 327 million ($462.2 million), including 127.7 million ($180.5 million) in match-day revenue.
The club's success in retaining the Premier League title and again reaching the Champions League final meant it would have stayed in second place had the pound's value against the euro not dropped by another 7 percent over the year.
"It is still likely to be Real Madrid and FC Barcelona that contest the top two positions in the Money League for the immediate future, particularly if English clubs continue to suffer from a weak exchange rate," Jones said.
Even so, England was the most strongly represented club in the list with seven clubs.
Boosted by income from a property development on the site of its former stadium, Arsenal moved up a spot to fifth behind Bayern Munich and swapped positions with Chelsea.
Arsenal's 60,400-seat stadium meant its 117.5 million (166.1 million) of match-day revenue was second only to United in the top 20, but Deloitte suggested the north London club could be overtaken next year since it has opted to freeze season-ticket prices for the fifth time in six years.
Liverpool stayed in seventh place, with Tottenham, Manchester City and Newcastle the other English clubs present.
Italy took the remaining three top-10 places. Juventus brought in 203.2 million ($287.2 million), while Inter Milan and AC Milan each earned 196.5 million ($277.7 million).