NEW YORK: Real Madrid won next to nothing last season on the pitch yet they have proved winners off it after taking over top spot among the world’s 50 most valuable sports teams as assessed by Forbes.
The business magazine valued the nine-times European champions at $3.3bn, up from $1.88bn last year, due in large part to increased revenue from deals with Adidas and Emirates Airlines Madrid which are expected to generate more than $80m a year.
Manchester United ($3.17bn) slipped to second place while Spanish champions Barcelona ($2.6bn) leaped five places to third.
Leading United States sports outfit is Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees ($2.3bn) which dropped from third to fourth, followed by the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys ($2.1bn) and New England Patriots ($1.6bn).
Completing the top 10 were MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers ($1.6bn), the NFL’s Washington Redskins and New York Giants and Premier League Arsenal ($1.3bn).
With 30 teams in the top 50, the NFL occupies 60 percent of this year’s list. The average value of the top 50 teams is $1.24 billion, which is a 16 percent increase from last year.
The 20 non-NFL teams in the top 50 are comprised of seven each from MLB and soccer, three from the National Basketball Association, two from motor racing and one from the National Hockey League.