Spanish football giant Real Madrid have overtaken Manchester United as the world’s richest football clubon the Forbes Most Valuable Football Club list, a position the British club has held since the list’s inception in 2004.
Barcelona are in third place and Arsenal fourth, both ahead of Bayern Munich in fifth place.
Real Madrid are valued at £2.15 billion ($3.3 billion,) making the Spanish club the most valuable sports franchise in the world, and United at £2.07 billion.
“This is the first time since Forbes began valuing soccer teams in 2004 that Manchester United is not No. 1 on the list,” Forbes said.
“Real Madrid has been consistently delivering the highest revenue of any soccer team in the world, despite an intense economic meltdown in Spain. With superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch, and Jose Mourinho on the bench, Real Madrid has thrived under the leadership of billionaire president Florentino Perez.
“According to this year’s soccer valuations, the top 20 teams are worth an average of 968 million dollars (£634m,) an increase of 26% over last year.
“Forbes’ team values are enterprise values (equity plus debt) that are based on multiples of revenue that teams garner from television, premium seating, media, licensing, merchandise and concessions.”
David Beckham still tops the list of highest- earning players with earnings of £33m, £29m of which came from endorsements. Real Madrid’s Ronaldo is second with earnings of £28.8m and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in the third place with a total of £26m last year from salary and endorsements.
FORBES TOP 10 RICH CLUBS.
1st REAL MADRID
Last year: 1st Value: €2.532bn 76%
2nd MANCHESTER UTD
Last year: 1st Value: €2.429bn 42%
Last year: 1st Value: €1.995bn 99%
Last year: 1st Value: €1.017bn 3%
5th BAYERN MUNICH
Last year: 1st Value: €1.005bn 6%
6th AC MILAN
Last year: 1st Value: €725m 4%
Last year: 1st Value: €691m 18%
Last year: 1st Value: €533m 17%
9th MANCHESTER CITY
Last year: 1st Value: €529m 56%
Last year: 1st Value: €500m 5%