LONDON • Manchester United have been rated as Europe's most valuable club by a new report into the financial muscle of the continent's top teams.
The report by professional services firm KPMG looked at the finances of 39 clubs based on their popularity on social media channels, revenues for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, and success in European competitions.
The clubs were then ranked by enterprise value, an accounting measure used to assess how much it would cost to buy any given club or company as it includes a business' total debt, with KPMG using its own formula to reach these valuations.
Despite two relatively disappointing seasons on the pitch between 2014 and 2016 during which the club only won the FA Cup, United's value surged clear of LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona last year, becoming the first club to break the €3 billion (S$4.6 billion) mark for enterprise value.
Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich remain in fourth place, while Manchester City edge past Arsenal to take fifth spot, both with enterprise values of just under €2 billion.
Chelsea, Liverpool, Juventus and Tottenham fill the next four positions, which means six of the top 10 are from the Premier League.
MOST VALUABLE FOOTBALL CLUBS IN EUROPE
1 Man United €3.09 billion
2 Real Madrid €2.97b
3 Barcelona €2.76b
4 Bayern Munich €2.44b
5 Man City €1.97b
6 Arsenal €1.95b
7 Chelsea €1.59b
8 Liverpool €1.33b
9 Juventus €1.21b
10 Tottenham €1.01b
€1 = S$1.54
England's top tier consistently generated higher revenues than its European rivals, and has just completed the first season of its most lucrative television contract, which meant last-placed Sunderland received £100 million (S$177 million) in centrally distributed revenue.
In a statement, KPMG's global head of sports Andrea Sartori said: "The aggregate value of Europe's leading football clubs suggests that the overall value of football, as an industry, has grown.
"While this is partially explained by football's broadcasting boom, the internationalisation of the clubs' commercial operations, their investment into privately owned and modern facilities, and overall more sustainable management practices are also key reasons for this growth.
"In terms of media rights value, the English Premier League sits comfortably at the top of European leagues, although other major leagues have outlined well-defined strategies to compete for the attention of global fans."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BLOOMBERG