By Douglas Broom*
It reads like an end-of-match report – Real Madrid topple Manchester United to become the king of Europe.
But this time it’s financial success, rather than athletic ability, that has put the storied club in first place.
KPMG’s annual study on the value of Europe’s biggest football teams reveals a major shake-up in the ranks, with Manchester United losing its crown after three years at the top of the table.
Spain’s Barcelona slipped to fourth place, replaced by German powerhouse Bayern Munich.
The report ranks Europe’s 32 largest clubs based on their enterprise value (EV), a figure calculated by measuring a team’s profitability, popularity, sporting potential, broadcasting rights and stadium value.
Joining the top 32 this year are Celtic – the first Scottish club to be ranked in the survey since KPMG launched the report in 2016 – and Spain’s Villareal. But Spanish club Valencia and Turkey’s Fenerbahce, meanwhile, were left off this year’s list.
The English Premier League continues to dominate European football’s financial performance, with nine clubs on the KPMG list, accounting for four-fifths of the total value.
Overall, the combined value of Europe’s top teams has increased by more than a third since 2016. The most dramatic three-year growth was achieved by French team Olympique Lyonnais, whose EV climbed by 150%, and Liverpool, which grew its EV by 110%.
Most of the top clubs cashed in by selling players last year, with Monaco raising the highest amount, at $350 million, followed by Barcelona, which earned $230 million.
Tottenham was Europe’s most profitable club last year, turning a 36% profit margin, followed by Italy’s Lazio and the UK’s Liverpool. The biggest loss was at Italian giant AC Milan, which saw profitability plummet by 50% after restructuring amid an ownership reshuffle.
*Senior Writer, Formative Content
** First published in weforum.org