Real Madrid has usurped Manchester United’s long-held position at the top of Forbes’ list of the world’s most valuable soccer teams. United had held onto No. 1 since the magazine
began tracking soccer teams’ value as businesses in 2004.
According to the report, Real is now worth $3.3 billion. It posted revenue of $650 million during the 2011-12 season on operating income of $134 million, which is first among soccer teams and second only to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys among all sports teams. Second-place United is now worth $3.17 billion, more than double its valuation when Malcolm Glazer and family bought the team in 2005 for $1.47 billion. Since taking the company public last August, Glazer’s team has outperformed the S&P by better than two-to-one. Third on the soccer rich-list is Barcelona, worth $2.6 billion on revenue of $613 million.
Thanks to the Premier League’s new television deals, English teams make up most of the rest of the top 10. Arsenal, valued at $1.33 billion, ranks fourth, Chelsea ranks seventh at $901 million, Manchester City, worth $689 million, is ninth, and Liverpool, valued $651 million, ranks 10th.