Image: Reuters staff/ REUTERS
With a worth of $3.69 billion, Manchester United has been ranked the world’s most valuable soccer team, according to Forbes's latest list.
The England-based club returns to the top spot for the first time in five years, with 11 percent rise in its value over the past year.
As per Forbes's 14th Annual List of the 'World’s Most Valuable Soccer Teams', the top 20 rank holders this year are worth an average of $1.48 billion, 3 percent more than one year ago.
“Manchester United’s return to the top spot is a testament to their powerful brand and marketing acumen,” said Mike Ozanian, Assistant Managing Editor at Forbes Media.
Barcelona comes in at No. 2 on the 2017 rankings, with a current value of $3.64 billion. Real Madrid, which was ranked No. 1 for the past four years (2013-2016), fell to No. 3 on the list, valued at $3.58 billion. Rounding out the top five are Bayern Munich at No. 4 ($2.71 billion) and Manchester City at No. 5 ($2.08 billion).
Manchester United generated revenues of $765 million during the 2015-16 season, $77 million more than both Barcelona and Real Madrid. Manchester United is also by far the most profitable soccer team in the world, posting operating income of $288 million, $107 million more than runner-up Real Madrid.
Forbes’ team values are enterprise values (equity plus net debt) based on April 24, 2017 exchange rates. Revenues and operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, player trading and disposal of player registrations) figures are for the 2015-16 season, converted into U.S. dollars based on the average exchange rate for that period. Operating income is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, player trading and disposal of player registrations. Debt includes stadium debt applicable to the team or team owner.
“The US dollar rose in value relative to the euro during the past year. As a result, although not a single team declined in value year-over-year when measured in euros, 9 of the 20 teams decreased when valued in U.S. dollars,” Forbes said in its statement.
For Forbes’ full list of the 20 most valuable soccer teams in the world, visit: www.forbes.com/soccer