Manchester United have been named the world’s most valuable football club for the first time in five years by Forbes.The Red Devils were valued at $3.69 billion by the American business magazine, ahead of Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid. Barcelona are also valued at $3.64bn while Real Madrid, ranked first in the list for the past four years, fell to third with a value of $3.58bn.Bayern Munich ($2.71bn) and Manchester City ($2.08bn) also made the top five. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Juventus and Tottenham make up the rest of the top 10.Mike Ozanian, assistant managing editor at Forbes Media, said: “Manchester United’s return to the top spot is a testament to their powerful brand and marketing acumen.”
United generated revenues of $765 million during the 2015-16 season, according to Forbes, $77m more than both Barcelona and Madrid.
They are also the most profitable club, posting operating income of $288m — $107m more than second-placed Madrid.Last week, United were named Europe’s most valuable football club following a report by auditors KPMG, which valued the club at €3.004bn ($3.39bn).
They currently have 26 global sponsorship deals, including with adidas, Chevrolet, 20th Century Fox and Uber, as well as 10 regional sponsorship deals and 28 other media and financial sponsors.