Manchester United has overtaken Real Madrid to become Europe’s richest football club despite not playing in the champions league nor winning the English League since 2013.
The latest football rich list from KPMG showed that United had topped Real Madrid to occupy the first spot as the richest club in the continent. Five other English clubs also made it on the top 10 list of richest clubs in Europe including Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool. United has failed to win the English Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson retired as its manager in 2013, but the club increased in value to €3.004bn. Although Manchester united owes almost hal a billion pounds in debt, it had a remarkable revenue increase due to a bumper television rights deal.
The English game’s growing financial muscle is highlighted in the second year of KPMG’s report. The study looked at the finances of 39 clubs based on their popularity on social media channels, revenues for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons, and success in European competitions. The clubs were then ranked by a measure used judge how much it would cost to buy any given club as it includes a business’s total debt. United has been valued at €3.004 billion (£2.61bn), ahead of both Real (€2.895bn) and Barcelona (€2.688bn). KPMG had estimated Madrid and United as being worth €2.9bn at the end of the 2015-16 season.
Bayern Munich (€2.367bn) are fourth on the list, with Manchester City (€1.909bn) the next highest-placed English team in fifth. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur complete the top 10. In May, United announced projected full-year revenues of between £560 million and £570m and expected profits that could eclipse their current record of £191.9m. They currently have 26 global sponsorship deals, including with kit manufacturer adidas, shirt sponsor Chevrolet, 20th Century Fox and Uber, as well as 10 regional sponsorship deals and 28 other media and financial partners. Broadcasting rights alone are worth £8.3bn to the 20 Premier League teams. KPMG studied the publicly available financial information of 39 clubs, as well as their popularity on social media and success in European competitions.
The top 32 teams had a combined value of €29.9bn (£26bn), an increase of more than €3bn on last year. The three top teams – Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona – account for around a third of the total value. The influx of cash into football’s biggest clubs saw transfer records broken last year with United manager Jose Mourinho paying £89m to bring Paul Pogba back from Juventus after a spell away at the Italian champions. KPMG’s €3.05bn ($3.4bn) valuation of Manchester United suggests that the stock market is currently underpricing the club which is listed in New York with a market capitalisation of $2.8bn.
Real Madrid fell to second in the rich list, despite a successful season which saw them win the Spanish title for the first time in five years and reach the Champions League final, to be played on Saturday. The lack of correlation between footballing and financial performance further underlines the increasing importance of broadcasting rights to top clubs. At the start of the 2016/17 season the Premier League began a new TV rights deal with Sky and BT Sport worth £10.4bn over three years.
“In terms of media rights value, the English Premier League sits comfortably at the top of European leagues, although other major leagues have outlined well-defined strategies to compete for the attention of global fans,” said Andrea Sartori, KPMG’s global head of sports and the report’s author. Further down the list, German champions Bayern Munich kept the fourth place they held last year, while Manchester City overtook Arsenal to take fifth spot. Leicester City and Everton were the two other English clubs to make the list, in 16th and 17th place respectively.