Liverpool have jumped four places in the annual Deloitte money league that measures the income and financial clout of European football clubs, going from seventh on football’s rich list last year all the way up to third best.
It means only Spanish giants real Madrid in second and Manchester City—who have been accused of signing sponsorships with companies that don’t exist beyond serving as fronts to funnel money to the club—stand ahead of the Reds.
While a place high up the Deloitte list might signal a club that’s in a good place financially, news that Liverpool were Europe’s third richest last year will for many only make it harder to understand their current on-pitch issues.
There, failures to sign midfield reinforcements last summer appear at the root of this season’s struggles—struggles that have left them on the outside of the top four race and unlikely to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Given the financial impact—not to mention the impact on recruitment and that it’s generally seen to be harder to get in or back into the top four than stay there—the unwillingness to spend on midfield seems strange.
Every other club in the top ten—Man City, Real Madrid, Man United, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Chelsea, Tottenham, and Arsenal—have spent more to improve their squads while the third-place Reds have cried pauper.
Liverpool are third this year based on their 2022 performance. Despite it only being January, it seems safe to say they won’t be third for 2023, and missing the Champions League would likely mean a further hit to their 2024 financials.