Real Madrid usurp Manchester United as richest club in the world



Read Madrid have usurped Manchester United as the richest football club on the planet for the first time since Forbes magazine began their rankings in 2004.

The Red Devils have sat at the top of the list for nine years in a row but Jose Mourinho’s men are now worth $135 million more (€103m) at $3.3 billion (€2.429bn), while Sir Alex Ferguson’s side sit second in the business magazine’s most valuable club list.

Barcelona are perched comfortably in third – $565m (€434m) behind United but $1.274m (€978m) ahead of fourth-placed Arsenal – and rose 99 per cent in value over 12 months.

Bayern Munich fill out the top five having made the Champions League final last season as well as finishing second in the Bundesliga. Their value is sure to rise further in next year’s rankings with the added interest of Pep Guardiola as coach, not to mention their triumph in this season’s Bundesliga and a potential treble of trophies.

AC Milan are the top-placed Serie A side in sixth and the highest-placed club to be valued below the €1bn mark this year. However, they are also the only club in the top 10 which have gone down in value over the last 12 months.

Chelsea’s Champions League-winning season saw maintain their place in the list and boost their value by 18%, not so contrasting to the team below them, Juventus, who saw their value rise by 17% after returning to Scudetto-lifting ways in 2012.

Manchester City rose from 13th to 9th in Forbes’ list after winning the Premier League last season and qualifying for the Champions League for the second successive campaign.

Interestingly, despite being considered one of the richest clubs in the world, Paris Saint-Germain fail to make the top 20, while La Liga’s top-three duo are the only Spanish sides to make the list.

The complete piece is available at For the comprehensive Forbes article, excerpted below, visit their website.

…Real Madrid, which posted revenue of $650 million during the 2011-12 season, is worth $3.3 billion, more than any team in the world. Los Merengues generated operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and player trading) of $134 million, more than any soccer team and second only to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys ($227 million) among all sports teams.

Thanks to rich sponsorship deals that are underpinned by the team’s storied history of trophies–a record nine Champions League titles and 32 domestic championships–and star players that were or are global bands themselves–Raul Blanco, David Beckham, Ronaldo Lima, Cristiano Ronaldo–Real Madrid’s revenue has increased 62% over the past three years with an average operating margin of 28%. More cash is coming to Madrid: Dubai’s Emirates Airline is close to signing a long-term, $39 million-a-year shirt sponsorship deal with the team.

Manchester United, ranked second on our list with a $3.17 valuation, has been a great investment for Malcolm Glazer since the billionaire bought control of the team in 2005 for $1.47 billion. Glazer sold shares of England’s most iconic soccer team–which has a record 19 Premiership titles and three Champions League trophies–to the public last August, and those who bought in, including legendary investor George Soros, have been richly rewarded. Most recently trading at $17, shares of the soccer team have outperformed the S&P 500 by better than tw0-to-one since the IPO.

Main reason: Manchester United has also been scoring with its powerful global brand. Just prior to its IPO the Red Devils signed a $559 million, seven-year shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet that will begin with the 2014-15 season. In April, Manchester United, sold the naming rights to its training ground as part of a sponsorship deal with insurance firm Aon for an estimated $230 million over eight years.

In hot pursuit of Real Madrid and Manchester United is Barcelona. Barca’s value doubled over the past year, the biggest increase of any top 20 team, to $2.6 billion. Barcelona’s revenue have increased 19% over the past three seasons, to $613 million in 2011-12.

Led by Lionel Messi, the sport’s most prolific scorer, Barcelona is on the verge of coming in first in La Liga this season and captured consecutive domestic titles from 2009 through 2011. It also won the Champions League in 2006, 2009 and 2011. The Spanish powerhouse has parlayed the stellar results into a $38 million-a-year kit deal with Nike and its first ever corporate shirt sponsorship with Qatar Airways, worth $45 million a year through the 2015-16 season.

Real Madrid ($3.3 bil.), Manchester United ($3.17 bil), and Barcelona ($2.6 bil.), now command the top three spots among all teams in the world, followed by the New York Yankees ($2.30 bil.) and Dallas Cowboys ($2.1 bil.).

New entry: Brazil’s Corinthians Paulista. Ranked 16 with a value of $358 million, the Corinthians are the first non-European team to ever qualify for our top 20 list. The team, which won the Brazilian championship in 2011 and captured the Club World Cup in 2012, has been very creative recently when it comes to capitalizing on its brand as well as the popularity of other sports.

In 2011, the Corinthians launched the first Brazilian television channel dedicated to a sports team, TV Corinthians. The same year Timão made an unprecedented move by sponsoring Brazilian mixed martial artist Anderson Silva at a UFC event in Rio de Janeiro. Sponsors have taken notice: The Corinthians recently inked a $14 million-a-year shirt deal with Caixa Economica Federal. Hosting the FIFA World Cup next year will heap even more attention on Brazilian soccer.




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