FC Barcelona reported it had closed the accounts for the 2016/17 football season with record earnings. The accounts for the period July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 confirm the club had earnings of 708 million euros ($818.23 million); 13 million euros ($15.02 million) more than was budgeted for.

It may have been a disappointing season on the pitch for Barcelona, who were knocked out of the quarter-finals of the Champions League against Juventus and finished behind Real Madrid in the race for the La Liga title, but in financial terms it was a bonanza, reports Xinhua news agency.

Barcelona on Monday showed a profit of 18 million euros ($20.81 million) for a season in which 66 per cent of expenditure was on "payment of salaries to athletes".

The official Barcelona website explains the growth is "in line" with the club's strategic plan to have earnings of 1,000 million euros ($1156 million) by 2021.

A recent article in Forbes Magazine made Barcelona the fourth most valuable sports club in the world, placing it behind the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Yankees and Manchester United with a value of 3.64 billion euros ($4.20 billion).