Man Utd lose out to Spanish gold in football’s rich list

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo

All-conquering Spanish sides push Man Utd into third place in Forbes’s annual football rich list

LAST UPDATED AT 09:51 ON Thu 8 May 2014

IS THERE no stopping Spanish football? Not only are Spain reigning champions in the World Cup and the European Championship, but in a couple of weeks two of their clubs – Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid – will contest the final of the Champions League. Now, as if any further proof were needed of the dominance of Spanish football, comes news that the two most valuable clubs in the world are…yes, you’ve guessed it, from Spain.

The top spots in Forbes’s annual football rich list are occupied by Real Madrid on £2bn and Barcelona on £1.88bn. “For the first time since Forbes began ranking the world’s most valuable soccer teams a decade ago, two Spanish teams, Real Madrid and Barcelona, have grabbed the top two spot,” explains Forbes on its website.

The upshot of which is that Manchester United are pushed into third after what Forbes describes as their “substandard performance this season “. But while the Red Devils have suffered a dip in value of approximately £180m, at £1.65bn they are still streets ahead of their Premier League rivals. With Bayern Munich in fourth spot, the next English club is Arsenal, ranked fifth, who are valued £0.7bn.

The Gunners will hope to make up some ground on United in the revenue stakes next season with the Manchester club having failed to qualify for the lucrative Champions League, but the effect of that blow is lessened  by the seven-year shirt deal United recently signed with clothing company Chevrolet, estimated to be worth a cool £53m-a-season

Chelsea come in sixth, with the Blues valued at £511m, a 4 per cent fall from the previous season and one attributed to their lack of success this season and a slew of big-money January signings such as Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah.

Manchester City, at seventh, saw their valuation rise by 25 per cent to £508m, although that figure might soon take a hit. With the Sky Blues about to be slapped with a £50m fine from Uefa for failing to comply with Financial Fair Play guidelines, their standing could take a hit in the year to come regardless of whether they win the Premier League title on Sunday.

The fourth English representative in the top ten are Liverpool, the only club who didn’t appear in this season’s Champions League. Their value has risen by 6 per cent in the last year and their £407m valuation will only increase next season as they compete in Europe’s showcase competition for the first time since 2009. · 

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