Things haven’t been going too well for Manchester United on and off the field of late. Despite the euphoria that Ole Gunnar Solksjaer briefly gave the Old Trafford club a few months ago when they were winning games and reaching the Champions League quarter-finals, a dismal end to the season saw them miss out on qualifying for the richest club competition in football and facing the prospect of a Europa League campaign next season.
The relationship between players and fans has also broken down, with some supporters at their final league game against Cardiff City openly criticising players as they left the pitch – Paul Pogba was particularly on the wrong end of the abuse.
Questions have also started being asked about whether Solksjaer’s appointment was the correct one, with many former player’s throwing their opinions in criticising him, the current squad and the suits behind the scenes.
To compound the misery, the Red Devils have now been overtaken by Real Madrid as the most valuable football brand in the world after United’s value fell by 5.8 per cent in the last year. They are now worth €1.472billion (£1.29bn) according to the latest study by Brand Finance. The fall in growth has seen them slip behind Real Madrid into second after the Spanish giants enjoyed growth of almost 27 per cent.
That growth means that Los Blancos are now worth €1.646billion (£1.44bn), which was aided by their Champions League triumph last season and are now easily clear at the top of the elite list when compared to some of their European rivals.
Brand Finance said that Real are not only the most valuable and strongest brand in world football, but their enterprise value and stadium are also ranked up there with the very best too. They concluded that the most successful club in the history of European football is finally reaping the benefits of decades of a spectacular on-and-off-pitch performance.
Of the other non-English clubs, newly crowned La Liga champions, Barcelona, were third in the list with an estimated value of €1.393billion (£1.22bn) whilst German giants, Bayern Munich, were fourth. Big spending Paris Saint-Germain, who won Ligue 1 with some ease, were ranked eighth.
Premier League champions, Manchester City, are fifth with a value of €1.255billion (£1.10bn), whilst Liverpool are close behind in sixth after reaching successive Champions League finals. The Anfield club now has a reported worth of €1.191billion (£1.04bn).
Chelsea have suffered a 1.8 per cent loss in growth, down to €968million (£846m) ranking them in seventh, with their Europa League final opponents, Arsenal, in ninth with a value of €885million (£773m).
Tottenham complete the rich list but are sure to enjoy future prosperity following the completion of their new stadium. Spurs enjoyed a 20.4 per cent growth in the past 12 months and now have a value thought to be worth €758million (£662m).
- Real Madrid – £1.44bn
- Manchester United – £1.29bn
- Barcelona – £1.22bn
- Bayern Munich – £1.15bn
- Manchester City – £1.10bn
- Liverpool – £1.04bn
- Chelsea – £846m
- PSG – £799m
- Arsenal – £773m
- Tottenham – £662m
If anyone still thought football wasn’t a business…these figures say otherwise.