It’s confirmed – Manchester United really is Europe’s top football club

Photo: Ana M (CC BY-NC 2.0)

WHILE REAL MADRID have the most powerful brand and continue to be Europe’s most successful club on the field of play, Manchester United possesses the most valuable football brand list, according to Brand Finance.

It is the third consecutive year that United have been ranked the most valuable brand. This is a reflection of the club’s commercial prowess, which has pushed the brand value up by 48% to USD 1.7bn. United, like all Premier League clubs, has benefitted from a new TV deal, but their global reach is underlined by their presence in high-growth markets like China where they are the most popular European club.

Real Madrid still trail United in terms of value, although they enjoyed a 24% increase in their brand. Real completed the double of Champions League and La Liga in 2016-17. Their rivals, Barcelona, saw their brand rise by 43% year-on-year, and the gap between the two Spanish giants is narrowing.

Chelsea’s value was up by 61%, buoyed by the signing of the largest commercial deal in the club’s history, a £ 900m kit contract with Nike. Such a deal – £ 60m per annum – dwarfs other Premier League’s  kit arrangements – Mancester City, receive £15m annually from the same provider.

Manchester United’s position in the Brand Finance table comes shortly after both Forbes and KPMG placed the club at the top of their respective studies. With United back in the UEFA Champions League next season, the Red Devils’ financial position looks set to be further enhanced in 2017-18.

Rankings across various studies: The top 10

  Brand Finance Forbes KPMG European Elite Deloitte Last league title Last European trophy
Manchester United 1 1 1 1 2013 2017
Real Madrid 2 3 2 3 2017 2017
Barcelona 3 2 3 2 2016 2015
Bayern Munich 5 4 4 4 2017 2013
Manchester City 6 5 5 5 2014 1970
Chelsea 4 7 7 8 2017 2013
Arsenal 8 6 6 7 2004 1994
Liverpool 9 8 8 9 1990 2005
Paris St Germain 7 11 11 6 2016 1996
Tottenham 10 10 10 12 1961 1984


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