Sheffield United told how to become ‘one of richest 30 clubs in world’ as promotion importance underlined

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Sheffield United could soon become one of the richest 30 clubs in world football if they reach the Premier League and establish themselves in the top flight, according to the authors of a leading report into the remarkable world of football finance.

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Deloitte released its latest Football Money League on Thursday, with 11 of the top 20 wealthiest football clubs in the world hailing from England.

Included alongside the obvious names such as Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United are United’s Yorkshire rivals Leeds and Saudi-backed Newcastle United, whose commercial deals topped up the cash they receive from the Premier League’s unrivalled TV deal to make them two of the 20 richest clubs in world football.

United are second in the Championship table and looking good for a return to the Premier League - which will unlock a cash windfall of hundreds of millions of pounds. The possibility of that bonus is likely to have been factored into the deal which could see a change of owner of United, with owner Prince Abdullah in talks with a mystery investor over taking charge at Bramall Lane.

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“The Premier League’s financial superiority is unlikely to be challenged in the coming seasons,” said Sam Boor, a director in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group. “This is particularly apparent at a time when these clubs continue to attract international investment which often, in the best examples, encourages a focus on profitability, as well as on-pitch success.

“It’s now likely a case of not if, but when, all 20 Premier League clubs will appear in the Money League top 30.”

The Premier League was the only big European league to see an increase in the value of its media rights during the most recent sale process, while Deloitte noted that interest in the top-flight from fans, commercial partners and investors has never appeared higher.

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“It continues to appeal to millions of global followers,” Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said, “and its member clubs have a greater revenue advantage over international rivals.”

The challenge for the Blades is first of all getting there, and then staying there. But if they can establish themselves in the top flight over the coming years, the financial benefits could be beyond any fan’s wildest dreams.