Call it soccer or football, the ubiquitous game still easily remains the most popular sport on the planet. Prominent football clubs possess fervent fanbases that know no borders, and footy’s biggest stars enjoy a lofty level of celebrity that often spills into other industries entirely.
Despite the world’s obsession with soccer not yet translating to full mainstream acceptance in the United States, FORBES’ valuations of the sport’s wealthiest teams prove that it is impossible to deny the lucrative business of soccer.
Based on four distinct categories* – Match Day, Broadcasting, Commercial, and Brand – FORBES has determined that Real Madrid remains soccer’s most valuable football club with a $3.65 billion valuation, an increase of over $390 million from last year. In fact, the top four teams continue to maintain their ranks from last year, with Barcelona, Manchester United, and Bayern Munich continuing to hold second, third and fourth place, respectively.
Of the 20 most valuable soccer teams, half have a valuation of over $1 billion, with only two possessing a value of less than $500 million. The only team from 2015 absent from this year’s list is Galatasaray, which dropped off our list after being valued as the 20th most wealthy team last year.
We have visualized the 20 wealthiest soccer teams of 2016 below:
20. Newcastle United
18. AS Roma
17. West Ham United
16. Inter Milan
15. Atletico De Madrid
14. Schalke 04
13. Paris Saint-Germain
12. AC Milan
11. Borussia Dortmund
10. Tottenham Hotspur
6. Manchester City
4. Bayern Munich
3. Manchester United
1. Real Madrid
All figures and information are from public sources and team executives. Most revenue figures come courtesy of Deloitte LLP’s Football Money League report. Revenues and operating income are for the 2014-15 season, converted into U.S. dollars based on average exchange rate for the 2014-15 season. Enterprise value (equity plus net debt) based on current stadium deal (unless new stadium is pending) based on April 20, 2016 exchange rates. Operating income is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, player trading and disposal of player registrations. Debt/value ratio includes stadium debt.
Match Day: The portion of a team’s value that is derived from gate receipts and corporate hospitality revenue.
Broadcasting: The portion of a team’s value derived from distributions from domestic league, cups and European competitions.
Commercial: The portion of a team’s value derived from sponsorships, merchandising and revenue from other commercial operations.
Brand: The portion of a team’s value in excess of the value derived from match day, broadcasting and commercial sources.
Correction: Previous versions of the graphics for AC Milan and Juventus depicted incorrect uniforms.