Ranked: The World’s Most Valuable Football Club Brands
When oldest national football competition – the FA Cup – was first played in 1872, the players were not paid, clubs were local associations and there was no such thing as football badges.
Fast forward a century and a half and many football clubs have levels of global recognition comparable to well-known consumer brands such as Apple or Coca-Cola, while at the same time commanding huge loyalty from fans from all walks of life.
These properties have enormous economic value. Today we find out which clubs, in addition to competing on the pitch, also compete as football brands. Brand Financea brand assessment and strategy consultancy, has compiled a list of the world’s 50 most valuable football club brands.
ℹ️ Brand value refers to the present value of earnings specifically related to a football team’s brand reputation. This is separate and distinct from market valueor the value of an organization as a whole (ie what it would cost to buy a team)
Which football club has the most valuable brand?
Priced at $1.56 billion by 2023, Manchester City F.C in England’s Premier League takes first place as the most valuable football brand.
The club’s brand value grew by 13.5% in the last year, a testament to the club’s recent and ongoing success on the national and international front. It has won the Premier League seven times since 2011, and in 2023 the club completed a historic “treble”-win the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup, all in one season.
Here’s a look at the world’s top 50 most valuable football club brands, listed in USD millions.
|1||Manchester City F.C||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$1,562||+13.50%|
|2||Real Madrid CF||🇪🇸 Spain||$1,513||-14.40%|
|3||FC Barcelona||🇪🇸 Spain||$1,425||-7.20%|
|4||Manchester United F.C||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$1,412||-2.60%|
|5||Liverpool FC||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$1,411||-4.40%|
|6||Paris Saint Germain||🇫🇷 France||$1,174||-1.40%|
|7||FC Bayern Munich||🇩🇪 Germany||$1,140||-11.30%|
|8||Arsenal FC||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$940||+0.02%|
|9||Tottenham Hotspur F.C||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$931||-8.00%|
|10||Chelsea FC||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$893||-9.90%|
|11||Juventus F.C||🇮🇹 Italy||$655||-19.90%|
|12||Athletic Club in Madrid||🇪🇸 Spain||$570||-15.10%|
|13||Borussia Dortmund||🇩🇪 Germany||$562||-6.30%|
|14||FC Internazionale Milano||🇮🇹 Italy||$528||-8.00%|
|15||AC Milan||🇮🇹 Italy||$371||+0.19%|
|16||West Ham United FC||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$320||-6.40%|
|17||Newcastle United F.C||🇬🇧 Great Britain||259 USD||+0.17%|
|18||S.C. Napoli||🇮🇹 Italy||249 USD||+0.18%|
|19||RasenBallsport Leipzig||🇩🇪 Germany||$231||-18.40%|
|20||Aston Villa FC||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$222||+0.04%|
|21||AS Roma||🇮🇹 Italy||$212||+0.01%|
|22||Eintracht Frankfurt||🇩🇪 Germany||$210||-5.40%|
|23||Everton F.C||🇬🇧 Great Britain||205 USD||-13.60%|
|24||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||🇩🇪 Germany||202 USD||-8.00%|
|25||Sevilla FC||🇪🇸 Spain||$196||-5.10%|
Hove Albion FC
|🇬🇧 Great Britain||$189||-3.00%|
|27||Leicester City||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$187||-40.70%|
|28||Olympic Marseille||🇫🇷 France||$179||+0.07%|
|29||Crystal Palace||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$174||-1.70%|
|30||AFC Ajax||🇳🇱 Netherlands||$172||-18.90%|
|31||Olympique Lyonnais||🇫🇷 France||$166||-6.90%|
|32||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$166||-29.80%|
|33||Leeds United||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$160||-25.60%|
|34||Real Betis||🇪🇸 Spain||$159||+0.17%|
|35||Borussia Monchengladbach||🇩🇪 Germany||$157||-18.80%|
|36||Villarreal CF||🇪🇸 Spain||$143||-6.30%|
|37||The right society||🇪🇸 Spain||$139||REACH|
|38||VfL Wolfsburg||🇩🇪 Germany||$128||-34.90%|
|39||1.FC Cologne||🇩🇪 Germany||$125||-3.30%|
|40||SC Freiburg||🇩🇪 Germany||$125||REACH|
|41||SL Benfica||🇵🇹 Portugal||$123||+0.05%|
|42||Celtic FC||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$118||-9.70%|
|43||Brentford FC||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$118||REACH|
|44||Athletic Bilbao||🇪🇸 Spain||$117||-23.50%|
|45||SS Lazio SpA||🇮🇹 Italy||$116||REACH|
|46||1. FC Union Berlin||🇩🇪 Germany||$112||REACH|
|47||Valencia CF||🇪🇸 Spain||$112||-38.70%|
|48||FC Porto||🇵🇹 Portugal||105 USD||REACH|
|49||Fulham FC||🇬🇧 Great Britain||$104||REACH|
|50||CR Flamengo||🇧🇷 Brazil||$102||-8.80%|
Close on City’s heels, Spain’s Real Madrid CF the brand is also valued at just over $1.5 billion, but is down 14% in the last year. The club lost their grip on both their domestic league and European Championship titles this season, contributing to their drop in brand value in 2023.
On the Catalan side of Spain, FC Barcelona’s the brand remains in third place, valued at $1.4 billion. The two Spanish giants have a near-duopoly over La Liga, Spain’s domestic league, with one of them winning the title 62 times in the 94 years since the league was founded.
The rivalry gained another edge in the 2000s, hosting each of them Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo– two of the most followed celebrities in the world and often considered some of the best players to play the game.
And while both Messi and Ronaldo departed in the past five years, Barcelona and Real Madrid’s brands have remained resilient. Both clubs have consistently ranked in the top five most valuable football club brands since 2013.
Four more club brands have been valued at over $1 billion:
- Manchester United F.CEngland, ($1.41 billion)
- Liverpool FCEngland ($1.41 billion)
- Paris Saint GermainFrance ($1.17 billion)
- FC Bayern MunichGermany ($1.14 billion)
Countries with the most valuable football brands
From a regional perspective, the UK is home to the most valuable football club brands (18), all in England with the sole exception of Scotland’s Celtic FC.
|🇬🇧 Great Britain||18||$9,371|
Great Britain is followed by Germany (10) and Spain (9) with the most valuable brands. Together, the three best countries account for almost three quarters of the most valued football club brands in the world.
With an even wider view, Europe is home to 49 of the 50 listed clubs, a testament to the strength of the European football market. The only non-European team to make the list was CR Flamengo from Brazil.
What’s in a brand?
Although the value of a football club brand is not the same as the club value itself, a strong brand can do wonders for a club’s financial performance and eventual value.
Just watch Manchester Unitedwhich hasn’t quite recaptured its stellar performances on the pitch since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013, but nonetheless continues to be a commercial juggernaut – it had the fourth highest shirt sale in 2021.
A similar story can be seen with the Saudi Arabian club Al-Nasr when it signed Cristiano Ronaldo, who drove visit to its merchandise store up 300%.
With the new football season just around the corner, it will be fascinating to see how the rankings of the most valuable football brands change next year.