La Liga giants Real Madrid are the most valuable football team in the world, and second most valuable sports team according to the latest study revealed by Forbes.
Madrid, who face Atletico Madrid in this year’s Champions League final, have been holding this position for the fourth consecutive year. They are followed by Barcelona and Manchester United in the third and fourth place respectively.
Here are the top five world’s most valuable sports teams:
1. Dallas Cowboys $4 billion
2. Real Madrid $3.65 billion
3. Barcelona $3.55 billion
4. Manchester United $3.32 billion
5. New England Patriots $3.2 billion
Real Madrid ($3.65 billion)
Los Blancos have generated more revenue than any football team for 11 straight seasons. Madrid is worth $3.65 billion, 12% more than last year and more than any football team in the world.
Madrid are in still in the hunt for the La Liga title this season and are in the Champions League final as well. With UEFA increasing the Champions League payout by roughly 50% for the three-year cycle beginning with 2015-16, Madrid can expect to earn over $100m, should they win against Atletico in the Champions League final at San Siro.
While the Premier League follows a centralised system of money distribution from TV right deals that divides the money far more evenly, in Spain, the big clubs are allowed to negotiate individual deals. Madrid generated a revenue of around $189 million from TV rights in 2014-15 which is $22million more than Chelsea’s (Premier League champions in 2014-15) TV revenue during the same fiscal year.
Barcelona ($3.55 billion)
While Madrid are breaking records off the pitch, their arch-rivals Barcelona are captivating the entire world through their phenomenal performances on the pitch. Under Luis Enrique, Barcelona won a historic treble (La Liga, Spanish Cup, Champions League) in 2014/15 and are on course to winning the La Liga title as well this term.
The Catalan giants have recorded a mammoth $192 million from TV deals last season, but they find themselves below Arsenal in 6th in terms of revenue earned from kits deals and sponsorship rights.
However, Barcelona may soon overtake their Spanish rival because of a $400 million remaking of its home grounds, Camp Nou, which is expected to be completed in about five years. Furthermore, they are expecting to land a lucrative kit sponsorship deal with Nike before the start of next season, which should boost their finances.
Manchester United ($3.32 billion)
While on-pitch success has dried up for Manchester United after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, the Red Devils have been doing exceptionally well in matters relating to financial aspects of the game.
They are the third most valuable team and the only one of the top five that is publicly traded. With a 7% increase in overall income from last season, Manchester United stand out as the most profitable team of all the top football clubs.
United earned around $163 million from TV revenues, but where they really took giant strides is in improved kit sponsorship deals and in securing stadium / training ground naming rights.
Last season, they sealed a record-breaking £750m kit sponsorship deal with Adidas, while have renamed their training complex, sponsored by AON.
It is an encouraging sign for the Premier League that eight of the top 20 most valuable football teams are from England, as well as five of the top 10.