By Derrick Kiplagat
Real Madrid have been named the most valuable sports team in the world by business magazine Forbes for the third year in a row, as the publication released its top 50 list.
The Spanish club’s value clocks in at an impressive £ 2.08 Billion, ahead of American Football organization the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees, who are level on £ 2.04 Billion.
Madrid’s La Liga rivals Barcelona are the second highest ranked football team sitting fourth overall with a value of £ 2.02 Billion while Manchester United fall from third to fifth, the first team on the list to go below the £ 2 Billion mark at £ 1.98 Billion.
No other Premier League side is worth even half of what the Red Devils are, a testament to their wide-ranging marketing campaigns and long-term success right at the time when the Premier League became a truly global brand.
United were also the first football team on the list to actually increase their value over the last year, after Real and Barca dipped by 5% and 1% respectively, with the Red Devils’ £ 700 million Adidas sponsorship deal no doubt playing a part in that.
Manchester City are the next highest ranked English football team with a value of £ 890 million, 29th overall ahead of Chelsea (£ 877 million), and Arsenal’s £ 839 million.
The Premier League sides’ values are only likely to increase in the coming years, thanks to the new TV rights deal which comes into effect next year, and will net the league around £ 1.7 Billion per year, an increase in almost 70% on the current deal.
Football only had the fourth highest number of teams on the list compared to other sports, with the NFL making up a full two fifths of the teams. America’s MLB and NBA both had a higher count than football.