It's been a testing year for football teams in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Matchday revenue has plummeted and teams have been forced to rely on income from TV and broadcasting rights.
There are also various other non-matchday revenue streams including merchandising and advertising, and clubs have been forced to look for ways to maximize their profits in those aspects.
Forbes has released a list of the most valuable sports teams in the world. Nine football teams feature in Forbes' list that's dominated by NFL franchises. Football is the most widely followed sport in the world and top European clubs have fans across the world who tune in week in and week out to watch their favourite teams in action.
Six football teams feature in the 13 most valuable sports franchises in the world
Forbes has calculated the teams' values, which is equity + net debt, using ‘revenue and operating income adjusted for revenue sharing, and includes the economics of each team’s arena deal but not the value of the real estate itself’.
Here, we take a look at the top five football teams on the list.
#5 Liverpool - $4.1 billion
Liverpool's value has skyrocketed over the past two years as the club went from strength to strength under Jurgen Klopp. After winning the UEFA Champions League title in the 2018-19 season, Liverpool followed it up with a triumphant Premier League campaign in the 2019-20 season.
It's safe to say that Jurgen Klopp has not only transformed Liverpool on the pitch but away from it as well. The Merseysiders have been catapulted back into relevance over the past five years and although they have struggled in the 2020-21 season due to injury issues, there is no doubt that Klopp is the right man to take Liverpool forward.
Liverpool's value change has been clocked at +165% in the last five years.
#4 Manchester United - $4.2 billion
Over the past five years, Manchester United's value has progressed at a rate slower than any of the other football clubs on the list, registering a value change of +27% over the past five years. That makes sense given how the Red Devils have endured a difficult time in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era but they seem to finally be steadying their ship under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Manchester United are on course to finish inside the top four in consecutive seasons for the first time in eight years. But they have gone trophyless in the past three seasons and it has seen them fall from the top spot which they had maintained for 11 of the last 16 years. They were third in the rankings last year.