London, June 12 (ANI): Real Madrid's snaring of Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo is the clearest sign yet of a shift in the balance of power in world football.
Most observers have been taken aback by Madrid's financial muscle.
It is the world's richest club, with experts at Deloitte forecasting annual revenues of more than 340 million pounds this year.
Like Manchester United, it has one of the most lucrative shirt sponsorship deals on the globe - with gambling group bwin - and is almost guaranteed Champions League football every season.
Critically, unlike the Premiership's top four, Madrid can negotiate its own TV rights - meaning it nets a whopping 130 million pounds a year, far ahead of the top clubs in this country.
And if all else fails, club president Florentino Perez can always ask the city council to bail him out, reports The Sun.
In 2001, after he launched his first 'Galacticos' era, the local authority bought Madrid's training ground for over 300 million pounds - and wiped out the club's debts in a stroke.
More worryingly for our top four, the Spanish government recently changed its tax laws, allowing high-earning non-nationals to pay just 23 per cent tax - compared to our new 50 per cent rate. (ANI)