The richest leagues in the world

With superstars making upwards of 100 million pounds, teams spending record amounts of money on expensive transfers, and stadiums and sponsorships to pay for, one thing is crystal clear: there are some undeniably rich football leagues around the world. While it's typical to think of those glitzy leagues in Europe, such as LaLiga and the Premier League, the Saudi Pro League and Major League Soccer across the pond also boast some serious sporting ability and financial muscle.

Prremier League flag
Prremier League - one of the richest football leagues in the world
The amount of revenue these leagues handle has developed and created a certain glory when watching this level of pro football. And with the rise of online sportsbooks and betting culture, studying and wagering on these teams within these leagues can be lucrative avenues to increase your winning chances. So, which leagues are the wealthiest in the world?

Saudi Pro League

After world-renowned player Cristiano Ronaldo signed a two-and-a-half-year contract worth over 200 million euros with Al Nassr, the Saudi Pro League was put on the international map. While the league has existed since 1976, they stick to regional and nationwide tournaments and participate in the AFC Champions League - a continental football competition.

In 2023, the Ronaldo signing sparked a revolution in Asian football, which led to other top-tier players joining the league. These included French striker Karim Benzema, Serbian midfielder Sergej, and Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino. Over that one summer, the league spent nearly 800 million pounds on player transfers alone in their quest to become a global juggernaut. They also secured a nearly 400,000-pound deal with sports broadcasting platform DAZN.

Premier League

Home to the top 20 clubs in the English football league system, the Premier League boasts a reputation as the highest level of professional football in England. With highly recognizable names like Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool under their belt, there's no question that the league has status. Outside of soccer, they're the sports league with the highest viewership globally, with an estimated TV audience of 4.7 billion - over half of the world's entire population.

The money that comes in from their television rights and broadcasting deals alone is lavish, with their arrangement with Sky and BT Group rising from 5 billion to 6.7 billion pounds between 2025 and 2029. Not to mention the overseas deals raking in 5.7 billion pounds between 2022 and 2025. The rivalries, culture, and fans surrounding the Premier League also mean an extremely high average attendance, leading to earnings of hundreds of thousands or millions of pounds per game on tickets. Throw in the sales from good ole' Footy Scran, drinks, and merchandise, and it's easy to see why the league is so rich.


At the helm of the German football league system is the Bundesliga, the league that propelled German football onto the international stage. It comprises 18 teams, including Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, which commonly play in the UEFA Champions League. Dortmund successfully made it to the finals against Real Madrid in the 2024 Champions League tournament. They're generally a very successful league, with clubs winning a variety of Europa League, Super Cups, and FIFA Club World Cups, and players acquiring many Ballon d'Or awards.

Their riches come primarily from media revenue and advertising, while their matchday revenues have been slowly shrinking. Interestingly, that's not because they're unpopular - in fact, it's the complete opposite. The Bundesliga is actually the top association football league when it comes to average attendance. In their 2011-2012 season, they ranked second in the world, just after the NFL.

La Liga

While England's Premier League and Germany's Bundesliga are two of the Big Five, Spain also has a league among them - LaLiga, a true powerhouse in the global football world. Their excellence is demonstrated by historically significant Real Madrid, established in 1902, as well as upper-crust teams like Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, and Valencia. LaLiga is considered the seventh wealthiest professional sports league globally in terms of revenue and was the top league on the continent between 2013 and 2019.

Real Madrid alone has a total market value of just over 1 billion euros, while the rest of their top 10 are worth between 198 and 839 million euros. The sheer talent of their players has led to successful performances in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, adding to their prestige and international appeal.

Major League Soccer (MLS)

If we stray away from Europe and head over to the United States and Canada, we'll find Major League Soccer, the highest level of soccer (as they call it) in America. While attendance and popularity don't hold a candle to the other sports leagues in the region - namely, the MLB, NBA, and NFL - the MLS has gradually developed into a true player in North American sports culture.

When Lionel Messi signed with Inter Miami for the 2024 MLS season, it triggered a frenzy of excitement around the league, a lot like the Ronaldo transfer to Al Nassr. That transfer alone elevated the status of the MLS and had people and the media talking. Collectively, the league is worth just under 20 billion USD (15.8 billion pounds), thanks to massive increases in the valuations of each club.

Serie A

At the top of the Italian football league system is Serie A, a league founded over 125 years ago. It's recognized as one of the best football leagues ever because of the talent and strategic play that teams have demonstrated over the many years. They play host to three of the most famed clubs - Inter Milan, Juventus, and AC Milan - and to 42 of the 100 greatest footballers in history, according to FourFourTwo. Their accolades are astounding, with many World Cup champions coming out of Serie A teams.

Although the market value of all Serie A clubs comes out to just over 4.5 billion euros, a far cry from the worth of other leagues, they make up for it in talent.
Kano Kluckfors speaks Thai but now lives in Stockholm, Sweden. Kano knows most things about the sport of football and likes to write about it. The number one team is Arsenal, a passion founded during the years he lived in London.