United, City and Liverpool among football’s elite

THIS region is home to three of the 10 most valuable football clubs in the world, according to the US business magazine Forbes.

While Real Madrid sits at the top of the pile for a third year, Manchester United is ranked third, while rivals City take 5th place. Liverpool lies in eighth behind Chelsea and Arsenal.

Thanks to the latest TV deal, which has boosted broadcasting incomes significantly, there are eight Premier League teams in the top 20.

Forbes said a surge in the value of media rights and sponsorship deals mean the top 20 clubs are worth an average of $1.16bn (£761m), 11% more than last year and 84% higher than five years ago.

The magazine graded the clubs across five areas, social media following, matchday revenue, broadcasting revenue and commercial revenue.  With this is taken into account it said there is a “Super Six” – Barcelona, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Real Madrid.

In first place Real Madrid is valued at £2.14bn, Barcelona at £2.07bn are second while Manchester United sit third with £2.03bn, a 10% increase.

Manchester City is ranked fifth and valued at £906m, up nearly 60% in the year, while Liverpool, which recently signed a new shirt sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered Bank is said to be worth £644m.

Interestingly,  Manchester United had the second biggest revenue at $703m (£461m) despite finishing seventh in the Premier League last season and missing out on Champions League qualification.

The Old Trafford club’s commercial might is unrivalled in world football. Its £750m, 10-year kit deal with German sportswear brand Adidas starts next season.