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LONDON: Manchester United´s relative failure on the pitch has not been reflected off it as for the first time in over a decade they top Deloitte´s Football Money League for revenue in the 2015/16 season.

United — who were last on top in the 2003/04 campaign — earned record revenue of 689m euros (£515.3m, $736m) — and dislodged Champions League holders Real Madrid who have ruled the roost for the past 11 years.

United´s topping of the revenue table — in a season where they failed to sparkle under Louis van Gaal in the league or the Champions League leading to him being sacked — is largely down to one thing according to Tim Bridge, Senior Consuiltant at Deloitte.

“It is the commercial power of Manchester United that takes them to the top of the league,” he told AFP.

More galling perhaps for Real is that despite passing the 600m euros barrier for the first time they also found themselves edged into third by bitter rivals Barcelona, who bettered them by just 100,000 euros — 620.2m euros to Real´s 620.1m — although the Catalan side have yet to top the table.

The top trio also filled the first three positions when Deloitte´s first published the league in the 1996/97 season with United topping then on £88m — pretty much the amount they spent on Paul Pogba almost 20 years later.

United´s reign, though, could be short-lived as they failed to qualify for the Champions League this season, even when figures from the huge Premier League TV deal that came into force this season are taken into account, according to Bridge.

“The TV deal will counterbalance some of it but much depends on where they finish in the league,” said Bridge.

“The truth is it will be a three-way battle next year mainly because United are not in the Champions League and the impact of the exchange rate (it was 1.33 euro to the pound when Deloitte did the 2015/16 table as opposed to Wednesday´s rate of 1.15) and weakening of the pound following the decision to leave the European Union.

German champions Bayern Munich and Manchester City fill out the top five — French giants Paris Saint Germain dropping out of the leading quintet to sixth.

City´s appearance in the top five for the first time is on the back of reaching the Champions League semi-finals.