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United close on Real

United are rapidly closing the gap on Real Madrid to lay claim to being the world's wealthiest football club.

The latest Money League for the 2006/07 season, compiled by business advisory firm Deloitte sees the Reds leap two places from fourth to second place.

Real, who have topped the charts for the last three years, initially stole the title off United.

The Spanish giants increased their income by 20 per cent, with United's revenue up by an impressive 30 per cent.

United's rise was helped by the opening last season of Old Trafford's new quadrants, the stadium's capacity increasing to 76,000, and also the Reds' run to the Champions League semi finals.

Dan Jones, partner at Deloitte in Manchester, said: "With the new Premier League television deals now online for the 2007/08 season, Manchester United have the opportunity to significantly close the gap on Real. A successful Champions League run may even see United challenge for the number one spot next year.

"The big difference between United and Real is that Real can sell their own broadcast rights. But I'd expect United to rise further next year."

Moving up the charts

1 (1) Real Madrid £236.2m
2 (4) Manchester United £212.1m
3 (2) Barcelona £195.3m
4 (6) Chelsea £190.5m
5 (9) Arsenal £177.6m
6 (5) Milan £153m
7 (8) Bayern Munich £150.3m
8 (10) Liverpool £133.9m
9 (7) Internazionale £131.3m
10 (12) Roma £106.1m

Numbers in brackets are last year's positions

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