Manchester United one of the richest football club in the world, is now officially the world’s most valuable football club, usurping Real at the top of the Forbes annual rich list for the first time in five years.
Jose Mourinho’s men might have recorded a lowly sixth place finish in the Premier League, but the club is valued at $3.69 billion, up 11% on last year.
United generated record revenues of $765 million — over $75 million more than Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid — aided by an unprecedented domestic television deal, global commercial reach and an Adidas kit sponsorship arrangement worth a reported $90 million per year.
The club, owned by the American Glazer family, is also substantially the most profitable, posting operating income of $288 million — more than fellow English clubs Arsenal ($122 million), Chelsea ($52 million, Liverpool ($29 million) and Tottenham Hotspur ($68 million) combined.
The likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool boast vast social followings and attract as many as eight million monthly website visitors.
A club no longer needs to travel to a new country to appeal to a new cross-section of potential consumers.
Forbes’ top 20 most valuable football teams
Manchester United —- $3.69 billion (£2.86bn)
FC Barcelona —- $3.64bn (£2.82bn)
Real Madrid —- $3.58bn (£2.77bn)
Bayern Munich —- $2.71bn (£2.1bn)
Manchester City —- $2.08bn (£1.61bn)
Arsenal —– $1.93bn (£1.5bn)
Chelsea —– $1.85bn (£1.43bn)
Liverpool —– $1.49bn (£1.15bn)
Juventus —– $1.26bn (£976m)
Tottenham —– $1.06bn (£821m)
Paris St-Germain —- $841m (£652m)
Borussia Dortmund —- $808m (£626m)
AC Milan —– $802m (£621m)
Atletico Madrid —– $732m (£567m)
West Ham —- $634m (£491m)
Schalke 04 —— $629m (£487m)
Roma —— $569m (£441m)
Inter Milan —— $537m (£416m)
Leicester City —— $413m (£320m)
Napoli ——- $379m (£294m)