Manchester United have beaten Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to reclaim their position as the biggest brand in world football, becoming the first club to pass the $1billion mark.
Despite another season without silverware, United have overcome Europe’s big-hitters at the top of The Brand Finance Football 50, according to a study released yesterday.
The Red Devils are now worth just over $1.2bn (£787.5m), almost $300m more than second-placed Bayern. Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea round out the top five.
Barcelona’s Champions League final victory over Juventus on Saturday added $28m to their brand value, but could not stop them falling two places to sixth below City and Chelsea – although their second Treble in six years will probably ease their pain.
Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said: ‘Manchester United’s success has been masterminded by Ed Woodward, the Cristiano Ronaldo of football’s commercial sphere.
‘As Sir Alex Ferguson developed United’s world-beating reputation, Woodward (and United’s owners the Glazers) capitalised on the brand’s growing power to establish a worldwide fan-base and a range of sponsorship deals unrivalled in their number and value.’
United also received another boost to their financial potency thanks to the record-breaking new UK broadcast deal for Premier League rights commencing from the 2016-17 season worth $7.8bn (£5.1bn).
Southampton, thanks in part to their recent successes under former manager Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman, are this year’s fastest-growing brand. The Saints’ brand value is up 89 per cent to $183m (£120m).

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