LONDON: Manchester United has continued its descent down Forbes’ annual rankings of the world’s most valuable football clubs as Real Madrid and Barcelona ensured a Spanish lockout of the top-two positions for the first time since the business media outlet began the list a decade ago.
Forbes, utilising financial figures from the 2012-13 season, has placed a valuation of $3.44bn (€2.47bn) against Real – a rise of four per cent on last year’s valuation. Real Madrid in September again claimed the title of being the only sports organisation to record yearly revenues in excess of €500m, following its significant increase in net profit and reduction in debt. The club announced that it closed the 2012-13 fiscal year with a turnover of €520.9m, 1.3 per cent more than in the previous period.
Real’s bitter Spanish Liga rival Barcelona recorded operating income for the 2012-13 season of €491m – €21m more than originally budgeted. This has seen Forbes hand it a significant 23 per cent increase in valuation to $3.2bn allowing it to leapfrog United into second place in the rankings. The development continues the Catalan giant’s move in the list as Barcelona’s value doubled in the 2013 list to $2.6bn.
United was last year toppled from its long-held position on top of Forbes’ list of the world’s most valuable football clubs by Real, and has fallen a further place this year. United had held top spot since Forbes began tracking team valuations in 2004, but finds itself in third position with a valuation of $2.81bn versus last year’s mark of $3.165bn. Forbes said it has devalued United due to its poor season on the pitch in 2013-14, which will result in the English Premier League club missing out on lucrative Uefa Champions League action next campaign.
Elsewhere in the top-10, German Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich ($1.85bn) has moved up a place to fourth and Manchester City ($863m) has leaped up two spots to seventh. Chelsea ($868m) has moved up one place to sixth, while Liverpool ($691m) is unchanged in 10th. Italian Serie A club AC Milan ($856m) falls two places to eighth, while Arsenal ($1.33bn) and Juventus ($850m) fall a single place to fifth and ninth respectively. French Ligue 1 champion Paris Saint-Germain ($415m) and Turkish Super Lig giant Galatasaray ($347m) are new entries to the top-20 in 15th and 16th respectively.
Forbes noted that the size of a club’s broadcast deal in its home market played a major role in its placing, with the Premier League and Serie A’s contracts boosting their respective clubs.
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