Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium
Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium in central Madrid

Real Madrid has been named the world's richest football club for the eighth straight year, and become the first sports club to cross €500m in annual revenues.

The Spanish club generated revenues of €512.6m (£431.5m, $683.4m) in 2011/2012, up 7 percent from the previous year, according to business advisory firm Deloitte's latest edition of the Football Money League.

"It is an impressive achievement for Real Madrid to have surpassed €500m in revenue in a single year," Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said in a statement.

"Real have led the way in the phenomenal rate of revenue growth achieved by the game's top clubs, with the double digit increase by the top 20 clubs representing continued strong performance in these tough economic times."

Deloitte also noted that the club enjoyed a balanced revenue stream, with 25 percent of revenues coming from match days, 39 percent from broadcasting and 36 percent from commercial sales.

Meanwhile, the combined revenues of the world's 20 highest-earning football clubs reached €4.8bn in 2011/12, a 10 percent increase on the previous year. The revenues have quadrupled since Deloitte began its analysis in 1996/97.

Eight of the top 20 clubs experienced a drop in revenue in the assessment year, which Deloitte attributed to poor performances by the clubs in European competitions, rather than recessionary impacts.

Along with Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Arsenal all occupied the top six positions for the fifth straight year. English Premier League teams have claimed five of the top 10 places in the list.

"An unchanged top six emphasises the fact that these clubs have some of the largest fanbases and hence strongest revenues, in both domestic and international markets," said Jones.

Chelsea's revenues rose to €322.6m from €253.1m last year. The club has won both the Uefa Champions League and the FA Cup during 2012.

Premier League winner Manchester City jumped to seventh spot from twelfth last year, with its revenues rising to €285.6m from €169.6m twelve months ago. The club, which is owned by Sheikh Mansour, a member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi, has also signed a 10-year deal worth a reported €480m with UAE's flag-carrier, Etihad Airways.

"The club's progress to the top of the English and European game means that they are set to remain a top 10 Money League club for the foreseeable future, and will look to push on ahead of the two English clubs immediately above them in the Money League, Arsenal and Chelsea, for a top five ranking," said Austin Houlihan, senior manager in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.

Newcastle, in 20th-place, is the only new entry to the list with revenues of €93.3m. The club, which took Valencia's place to return to the list after a three-year absence, finished fifth in the league in 2011/12.

The top 20 list: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, AC Milan, Liverpool, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, Tottenham, Schalke, Napoli, Marseille, Lyon, Hamburg, AS Roma and Newcastle.