In a list dominated by NFL teams in which all 32 find a spot in the top 50 sports franchises, the pride of place goes to Man Utd with a valuation of $1.86 billion.
Utd is a branding behemoth and their AON shirt sponsorship is worth $32m over four years. Next year their Nike shoe merchandise will be renewed for $70m, an increase of $30m over their existing contract to expire in 2015. They are also set to go public at the Hang Seng which will push their valuation to over $2.7b.
Real Madrid is 5th ($1.45b)and Arsenal 7th ($1.19b). There are eight football teams in all, second only to the NFL. The rest are:
19. Bayern Munich ($1.03b) 26. Barcelona ($975m) 34. AC Milan ($838m) 46. Chelsea ($658m) 49. Juventus ($628m)
The clubs located in cities where real estate/commercial property is expensive naturally have an advantage as their stadium and surrounding environs are valued more. Chelsea is an exception because although located in London it is also one of the most leveraged clubs with $889m of debt put on the club and its holding company.