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Real Madrid oust Manchester United as world’s most valuable sports team

Jul 16, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Britain Soccer Premier League AP

The rich just keep getting richer.

But one club has to come out on top and there’s been a change at the summit in the latest Forbes list of the world’s richest sports teams.

Bye, bye Manchester United. Hola Real Madrid.

It’s been revealed that Spanish giants Real have knocked the United off the top spot and are now the globe’s richest sports franchise.

Madrid were valued at $3.3 billion, while the Red Devils were close behind in second at $3.165 billion. And rounding off the top three is Barcelona, who are now worth $2.6 billion.

And just to give you an idea of where other sports franchises stand in the top 10 list, here it is:

1st: Real Madrid ($3.3 billion)

2nd: Manchester United ($3.165 billion)

3rd: Barcelona ($2.6 billion)

4th: New York Yankees ($2.3 billion)

5th: Dallas Cowboys ($2.1 billion)

6th: New England Patriots ($1.635 billion)

7th: LA Dodgers ($1.615 billion)

8th: Washington Redskins ($1.6 billion)

9th: New York Giants ($1.468 billion)

10th: Arsenal ($1.326 billion)

So four out of the world’s top ten most valuable sporting franchises are soccer teams, two English, two Spanish. Is that what we’ve come to expect? Yeah.

Certainly Arsenal have made huge strides in recent times, as their stock has risen dramatically since Stan Kroenke poured his considerable wealth into the North London club. Also, the Gunners took home $149 million from matchday revenue in 2011-12 alone, the third-highest in soccer.

But the perennial power struggle between the elite European clubs of Madrid, Manchester and Barcelona shows no signs of giving in. Real’s new sponsorship deals with Adidas and Emirates will bring in $80 million annually, while Chevrolet will be United’s shirt sponsors from 2014-15 after agreeing a deal of $559 million over seven years. Astonishing.

And Manchester United have a sponsor for just about everything. They have 12 main sponsors listed on the homepage for their website. Bwin.com, Singha Beer, Hublot watches, Chevrolet, DHL, Mister Potato… you name it, they probably sponsor United. (Well, within reason.)

As other teams start to catch up in terms of matchday revenue and other areas, United and Real will keep progressing. Will there value keep growing? Yes. Will it ever decrease? Probably not.

Soccer is the world’s most popular game and these latest figures from Forbes hammer home that point, and unless something disastrous happens to United and Real, expect these figures to keep rising.

So, just to emphasize it once more, Real Madrid are worth more than the New England Patriots and LA Dodgers… combined.

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