Manchester United have kept their position as the world’s richest football club in a list published by finance experts Forbes.
United are now worth US$2.4billion (the currency of their owner) or €1.83billion; up 20% on last year’s net worth of $1.9billion having reached the 2011 Champions League Final.
Real Madrid are in second place on the rich list with a turnover of US$1.88billion (€1.43billion); which is a rise of 29% for Los Blancos. Spanish and European champions trail in in third place on US$1.31billion (€0.9987billion) – a rise of 34% from last year for the Catalans.
The Forbes report shows that Manchester United is, by some distance, the richest franchise in world sport; comfortably ahead of Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees (US$1.495billion) and NFL’s Dallas Cowboys (who are worth a similar figure to the Yankees).
Having reached the 2010-’11 Champions League Final; United’s broadcasting income went up by 22% (to £192million) with their run to the final commanding an $80million prize from UEFA (with Barcelona getting the same sum). United’s revenue is expected to reduce this season, having been knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage.
In total five teams are now estimated to be worth over $1bn (£624m), with Bayern Munich and Arsenal making up the top five. Forbes predict that the nature of the Champions League competition will mean the rich continue to get richer.