Liverpool may look increasingly likely to end January in the black, with Oussama Assaidi departing for Al-Ahli Dubai, Suso completing his move to AC Milan, and as yet no signs of the club planning on making any signings before the window closed, but the club are hardly the paupers of European football. Far from it, in fact: Deloitte has released their yearly financial rankings this week, and Liverpool are back in the top ten.
Struggles on the pitch had seen the club fall out of the top ten last season, but they’re back in at ninth after last season with total revenues of €305.9M. That jumps them past Juventus, Dortmund, and AC Milan. A big part of that gain was due to increasing Premier League television revenues, which should help them to maintain a place in the top ten this season despite that a lower finish will result in the club receiving a smaller portion of it.
Liverpool still trail their domestic rivals, though. Arsenal were more than €50M better off last season thanks to Champions League revenues and matchday, where the Gunners brought in nearly €120M, double Liverpool’s matchday take. Liverpool’s commercial deals helped to close the gap, but without regular Champions League participation and an expanded stadium, eighth place Arsenal remains out of reach.
So too Chelsea, Manchester City, and Manchester United. And the only thing that can change that is success on the pitch. There may be some slight room for further improving commercial revenue streams as things stand, but without success in the league and regular appearances in the Champions League there will be a limit to its growth relative the other top ten sides—all of which are annual participants.
Similarly television revenues. Liverpool’s popularity and the Premier League’s rich television deal will help to keep the club around the top ten even if they’re not in the title hunt, but without Champions League money, the other big English sides as well as Europe’s richest four—Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Bayern, and Madrid—are clearly out of reach.
Improved matchday revenues will deliver a boost on that front in a few seasons, but those potential gains pale in comparison to the gains that can be made from commercial and television revenue a place in England’s top four is maintained. Do that, and the club could push past Arsenal and Chelsea in revenues, but without success on the pitch, there’s little room for Liverpool to grow compared to Europe’s financial top eight.