Although the sport of soccer is not as popular in the United States as it around the world, you can’t help but be amazed at how wealthy some of the game’s richest players are. Seriously, these individuals are so well known and so handsomely rewarded for their efforts, that it makes a person wish they had spent their youth perfecting this particular craft. Then again, when you see the most valuable soccer teams, it’s not surprising that the players make out so well.
According to the folks at Forbes, specifically Mike Ozanian, the 20 most valuable soccer teams on the planet are worth an average of $1.44 billion. For those of you counting at home, that’s 24% more than the top 20 teams were worth a year ago. Yeah, you can pick your jaw up off the floor now; this is real life. In fact, this is the methodology used by Ozanian to come up with these figures:
Revenue and operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, player trading and disposal of player registrations) figures are for the 2014-15 season, converted into U.S. dollars based on the average exchange rate for that period. Team values are current enterprise values (equity plus net debt) based on April 20,2016 exchange rates.
When possible I have adjusted values for new stadiums, pending endorsement deals and significant shifts in league standings or Champions League qualifications.
Of course, if you’re like us, then you’re all about seeing which teams tower above the rest. With that in mind, here’s a look at the 10 most valuable soccer teams in the world in 2016.
10. Tottenham Hotspur
Current value: $1.02 billion
We’re a little surprised to see that Tottenham Hotspur is the tenth most valuable soccer club on the planet. Then again, when you take into consideration that the club finished in third in the Premier League last season (2015–16), generated $310 million in revenue in 2014–15, and finished with an operating income of $73 million, maybe it’s not so surprising after all. Plus, the team did earn $150 million in TV money in 2014–15 — that’s certainly not a bad haul if you ask us.
Current value: $1.3 billion
On the flip side, Juventus’ spot at No. 9 — with a current value of $1.3 billion — on this particular list is hardly surprising. In 2014-15, the club generated $62 million in matchday revenue, earned $390 million in total revenue, and had an operating income of $81 million. Not only that, Juventus made $113 million in TV money in 2014–15 and pulls in an average of $53 million from its kit and shirt deals (a number that includes money generated from stadium and training ground naming rights).
Current value: $1.55 billion
Although Liverpool finished in eighth place in the Premier League this year, that didn’t prevent the club from having a financially successful season in 2014–15. The Reds pulled in $471 million in revenue ($156 million from TV earnings to go along with $79 million in kit and shirt deals), had an operating income of $115 million, and now sit at an estimated value of $1.55 billion. We think that’s more than acceptable.
Current value: $1.66 billion
There’s no doubt that Chelsea needs to get back to its winning ways on the pitch, however, the club is hardly suffering from a financial standpoint. Aside from making $99 million on average from their kit and shirt deals, the Blues earned $167 million in TV money in 2014–15, generated $505 million in total revenue, and had an operating income of $25 million. With a current valuation of $1.66 billion, Chelsea is the seventh most valuable soccer club in the world.
6. Manchester City
Current value: $1.92 billion
After finishing in fourth place in the domestic league standings in 2015–16, Manchester City is another club that could use a bounce-back year on the field. But like Chelsea, this team does just fine — fiscally speaking, of course. In 2014–15, Man City took in $166 million in TV earnings, generated $558 million in total revenue, and finished with an operating income of $131 million. No wonder this club is worth $1.92 billion.
Current value: $2.02 billion
While Arsenal may have generated less revenue ($524 million) than Manchester City in 2014–15, the club still finds itself at No. 5 on the list of most valuable soccer teams. This has a lot to do with the fact that the team is located in London, had the highest matchday revenue ($158 million), and currently boasts the most expensive season ticket in the Premier League at $2,895. For these reasons, among others, Arsenal stands at a valuation of $2.02 billion.
4. Bayern Munich
Current value: $2.68 billion
By consistently dominating the German Bundesliga, Bayern Munich has more than earned its place at this particular table. Aside from generating $570 million in total revenue in 2014–15, the club benefits from an annual average intake of $111 million from its kit and shirt deals. At a valuation of $2.68 billion, Bayern Munich is holding strong as the No. 4 most valuable soccer team in the world.
3. Manchester United
Current value: $3.32 billion
You don’t need to look at the numbers to know that it pays to be Manchester United. Still, we’ll fill you in anyways. Aside from the annual average of $209 million courtesy of kit and shirt deals, Man U had quite a lucrative 2014–15.
The squad made $166 million in TV money, earned $317 million in commercial revenue, and generated $625 million in total revenue. With a current valuation of $3.32 billion, Manchester United is sitting pretty as the third most valuable club in the world.
Current value: $3.56 billion
Although Barcelona is not used to coming in second place, when it comes to overall worth, that’s exactly where the club finds itself. Of course, the way we see it, there is nothing wrong with earning $192 million in TV money, generating $675 million in total revenue, and being valued at $3.56 billion. If that’s what it means to finish second, we’ll take it every time.
1. Real Madrid
Current value: $3.65 billion
For the fourth straight year, Real Madrid is the most valuable soccer team in the world. In 2014–15, the club took home $189 million in TV earnings, made the most money from its kit and shirt deals ($200 million annual average), generated $694 million in total revenue, and increased its total worth by 12% from the year before to $3.65 billion. This is just another reason why folks refer to Real Madrid as “Los Galácticos.”
Information courtesy of Forbes.com.
To see Forbes’ complete list of “Soccer Team Values 2016,” check out the gallery starting here.