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Manchester United named most valuable football club in the world;  20 MLS teams in the top 50

Manchester United named most valuable football club in the world; 20 MLS teams in the top 50

Manchester United has been named the world’s most valuable football club, with 20 Major League Soccer (MLS) teams in the global top 50 list.

Figures from Sportico value United at $6.2 billion (£4.96 billion), with Real Madrid ($6.06 billion), Barcelona ($5.28 billion), Liverpool ($5.11 billion) and Bayern Munich ($4 .8 billion) complete the top five.

Los Angeles FC ($1.15 billion) is the highest-ranked MLS club at 15th, with Atlanta United, Inter Miami, LA Galaxy and New York City FC all in the top 20.

The Premier League is the second most represented league on the list with nine clubs in the top 50; however, their cumulative valuation of $29 billion is almost double that of the twenty MLS clubs ($15.1 billion).

La Liga clubs have the third cumulative total in the top league with $13 billion; but are represented by only three clubs (Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid) on the list.

Serie A has six clubs on the list but none in the top 10, with Juventus (11th, $1.77 billion), Milan (14th, $1.2 billion) and Inter (16th, $1.06 billion) the valuations of Italian clubs.

However, the four German Bundesliga clubs represented ($7.6 billion) eclipse the valuation of Serie A ($6.1 billion), with Ligue 1 ($4.8 billion) ranking fifth among the represented clubs from the European competition.

The top 50 also includes three Liga MX clubs (America, Guadalajara and Monterrey), in addition to one club from the Dutch Eredivisie (Ajax), the Portuguese Primeira Liga (Benfica) and the Brazilian Serie A (Flamengo).

The Sportico club valuation model is similar to the Forbes Football Rich List, which also monitors and calculates the total values ​​of football clubs. Real Madrid was named the most valuable club in the world in Forbes’ latest list, published in May 2023, ahead of Manchester United.

Atlanta United and LAFC are the two highest-rated MLS clubs (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Atlanta United and LAFC are the two highest-rated MLS clubs (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

How are the numbers calculated?

Sportico calculates revenue streams based on figures published by club accounts.

The turnover figures are divided into three categories: broadcast, advertising and match day.

Broadcast consists of both domestic and international media deals, along with prize money for competitions.

Commercial income is based on income from sponsorship, advertising, corporate hospitality, catering and non-matchday events, with kit and stadium sponsorship deals helping to boost these figures.

Match day income is derived from ticket sales, membership income, cup matches and pre-season tickets.

Additionally, Sportico says they use “team-specific multipliers,” which they describe as “based on multiple factors including: historical sales, market (size, saturation, and potential owner interest), brand strength, on-field performance (historical and recent), terms of facility leases, indebtedness and additional obligations, as well as expected future team and league economics. This also includes external factors, including the question of whether clubs can be relegated.

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Why are MLS clubs so valuable?

Revenues in the MLS are low, clubs rarely make a profit and are unable to take advantage of the money that UEFA offers in European competition. So why are the clubs so prominent on the list?

Sportico says MLS club valuations are driven by factors such as “cost control, modern stadiums and a single-entity structure that promotes collaboration among owners.”

The lack of relegation from the MLS also adds stability to MLS valuations and raises the floor of income levels.

The league’s rating has also been boosted by a 10-year broadcast deal with Apple and a string of high-profile player arrivals, including Lionel Messi at Inter Miami, boosting its global exposure, while the US will also be among the host countries. the 2026 World Cup.

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(Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)