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Chelsea drop below Arsenal in Deloitte money league

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Chelsea and league tables do not make for pretty reading nowadays, so it's only par for the course to see the Blues drop a spot in yet another one.

The table below does demonstrate the incredible financial power of the Premier League (17 of the top 30 are English clubs) and that's only going to increase in the coming years.

Of course, Chelsea actually had a very successful season in 2014-15, winning the Premier League and the League Cup, so what happened?  Why did Chelsea drop from 7th to 8th this season?  Two years ago, when Deloitte dropped us from 5th to 7th, it was due to the shady sponsorship dealings of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.  What did Arsenal do this time to get ahead of us?

Deloitte's full report sheds some light on this.

...a 10% (£30.8m) increase in revenue in 2014/15 has helped Arsenal to leapfrog rivals local rivals Chelsea into seventh. The vast majority (85%) of this revenue growth is extra commercial revenue, which rose by £26.2m (34%), the second highest commercial revenue growth of all Money League clubs in 2014/15.

This significant increase in commercial revenue has been driven by the commencement of the club's new kit sponsorship deal with Puma. Together with the recently renewed shirt and stadium sponsorship agreement with Emirates and a number of new regional partnerships in various territories around the world, this has helped boost the Gunners' commercial revenue to over £100m for the first time, and represents a 66% increase over the last two seasons. This significant growth demonstrates the considerable commercial appeal of the biggest Premier League clubs with Arsenal narrowing the gap in commercial revenue to both Manchester clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool.

At £100.4m Arsenal recorded the highest matchday revenue of any Money League club despite the club playing two fewer home games than in the previous season. No other Money League club has as high a proportion of its revenue (30%) derived from matchday sources.

So, shirt sponsorship and stadium sponsorship and sponsorship of sponsorship and the highest matchday revenue in Europe.  Yes, even higher than Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Deloitte do note that while Chelsea have remained essentially unchanged from last year's report (down £5m, if you want to get technical), this season's new Yokohama deal should help make up the £10-12m gap to Arsenal.  Eventually, the new stadium will also help narrow the £30m matchday revenue gap between the Gunners and the Blues.

A large uplift is expected in 2015/16 as a result of the reported £200m five year deal with Yokohama Rubber, the second largest shirt sponsorship in English football history. The Yokohama deal is reportedly worth more than double the previous agreement with Samsung, and should help to propel Chelsea closer in revenue terms to the top five Money League clubs.

Of course, with Chelsea likely to miss out on Champions League revenues for at least one season (about £40m), our position at the top of Europe's financial elite will fluctuate a bit in the near future.  Still, if we're to have any hope of cracking the top five, it's the commercial side of things that will need the greatest growth.

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