July 30 – Real Madrid are the world’s most valuable football brand according brand valuation specialists Brand Finance. Barcelona are valued just €6 million behind them while Man Utd rank third, €105 million behind Real, but €62 million ahead of all-conquering but fourth ranked Liverpool.
The Brand Finance annual report looks at the values of the world’s 50 million clubs and this edition takes into account the inevitable drop in value caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Covid-19 caused total brand value of the top 50 clubs to decrease for the first time in six years – a drop of €751 million or 3.7%.
While the full impact on club revenues Covid-19 has yet to be seen, the Brand Finance report authors say “the majority of the brand value is secured by the clubs’ long-term future – provided they can survive the initial shock. For example, only 21% of Real Madrid’s brand value is delivered by the next five years’ financial results.”
In this respect the Big 5 leagues the established clubs are better insulated because of longer term and more significant revenue streams that are not totally dependent on match day income in the way that some of the smaller clubs and leagues are.
Premier League clubs dominate the ranking with six in the top 10 and 19 in the top 50. Manchester United saw their brand value fell by 11% to €1,314 million. Liverpool moved above Manchester City with a brand value rising from €1,191 million in 2019 to €1,262 million, a 6% increase. Chelsea dropped to 8th after their value fell for the fourth consecutive year to €949 million.
It is the huge gap in value between the top clubs and the top eight clubs that is most eye-catching. Real Madrid at €1.419 million are almost double the brand value of Arsenal, ranked 10th with a €719 million value.
Compare this to Leicester City’s brand value which is up by 44% but still only to €333 million, while Wolverhampton Wanderers, with their biggest crowds in 50 years are 30% higher at €242 million.
Bayern Munich inevitably lead the German clubs and are ranked 6th most valuable clubwith a brand value of €1,056 million, 20% lower than a year ago.
Italy’s leading club Juventus remain outside the top 10, but the report authors point out that the margin between 11th and 10th (Arsenal) has reduced by over €100 million. At the same time, the gap between Juventus and the 12th club, Borussia Dortmund, has increased by more than €100 million.
Richard Haigh, Managing Director of Brand Finance, commented: “Top-level football has been confronted with the largest existential threat since the Second World War. Loss of income, coupled with health concerns about mass gatherings, have raised question marks about the future of the industry and the financial resilience of clubs across all levels. The full damage of the COVID-19 crisis has yet to unfold and it is not inconceivable there will be casualties in the form of club bankruptcies and changes in ownership.”
For more information go to the Brand Finance Football Annual.
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