Top 10: Most valuable clubs in the world, Man United become first team valued over $3bn

Manchester United players celebrating Robin van Persie’s goal against Arsenal … on Saturday.Manchester United have become the first sports team in the world to be valued at more than $3bn. A surge in the club’s shares after a poor start when they were offered on the New York Stock Exchange in August has seen the overall value of United rise to $3.3bn (£2.1bn).

According to Forbes, United are comfortably ahead of the world’s second-most valuable sports team, the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, worth $2.1bn (£1.4bn).

The United shares were initially offered to the public at $14 and are now worth just under $17. It means a huge increase in the overall wealth of the Glazer family, who have a controlling interest in United, and the billionaire investor George Soros – the 22nd richest person in the world – who bought a 7.5% stake in the club.

United’s commercial growth appears to be driving the share price up, with the club announcing several new sponsorship deals since August, qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages and with the prospect of the new bumper Premier League television deals that are coming on stream from August.

The Glazers sold 10% of their shares in the initial public offering sale in August but United’s vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, insisted in October the family will not sell the club for “many, many years” despite ongoing interest.

Woodward said they had no interest in cashing in the rest of their holding.

Here is the list.

10. Schalke

Value: $587m; Revenue: $293; Operating income: $101m

Schalke it seems, are quite a good model to follow when it comes to running a club. Despite their relatively modest TV broadcast income, they generate almost $300 million in revenue, putting them pretty much on par with Liverpool, who benefit from the vast sums of TV money flooding into the Premier League.

9. Juventus

Value: $591m; Revenue: $223m; Operating income: -$38m

On the rise in European football thanks to their Serie A win last season and subsequent qualification for the Champions League, Juventus benefit from a sizeable sponsorship deal with Nike. However their match day revenue is the lowest of the top 10.

8. Liverpool

Value: $619m; Revenue: $295m; Operating income: $45m

Hit in recent years by the lack of Champions League football and a failed attempt to build a new stadium, Liverpool’s huge sponsorship deal with Warrior has helped bolster their revenue. A presence in America thanks to owners Fenway Sports Group has also helped.

7. Chelsea

Value: $761m; Revenue: $362m; Operating income: $76m

Chelsea’s Champions League win last season netted them over £50 million in TV revenue alone – but their inability to qualify for the knockout stages this season will hurt them.

Bankrolled by Roman Abramovich, who has agreed a host of new sponsorship deals to help the club meet UEFA’s Financial Fair Play directive.

6. AC Milan

Value: $989m; Revenue: $341m; Operating income: $29m

The most valuable Italian team, AC Milan were forced to sell off key players including Zlatan Ibrahimovic last summer to help balance the books. The Rossoneri are excellent commercially, and deals with Audi, Sky Italia and Emirates among others helped their revenue reach $341m.

5.  Bayern Munich

Value: $1.235m; Revenue: $466m; Operating income: $90m

Owned by the club’s fans, Bayern are an excellent role model when it comes to running a football club.

Posting the 4th highest revenue of all clubs in the list , Bayern generate a huge amount of money through their sponsorship deals and match day attendance, while their regular place in the final rounds of the Champions League certainly helps.

4.  Arsenal

Value: $1,292m; Revenue: $364m; Operating income: $98m

Amongst the least successful clubs in recent years on this list in terms of trophies, when it comes to making money Arsenal are one of the best.

Their match day revenue of $150 million is the 4th best on the list (fitting giving their position). A swathe of new sponsorship deals that will vastly improve their revenue from next season.

3. Barcelona

Value: $1.307m; Revenue: $653m; Operating income: $96m

Currently the world’s most successful club in terms of trophies in recent years, Barcelona only come home in third in the most valuable list.

The capacity of the Nou Camp and a sponsorship deal bolster the coffers, and puts Barca’s value above $1 billion.

2. Real Madrid

Value: $1.877m; Revenue: $695m; Operating income: $214m

Real Madrid are the masters when it comes to generating revenue; they received almost $700 million in 2011/13.

They’re also the most profitable team on the list, accumulating $214 million in operating income.

1. Manchester United

Value: $2.235m; Revenue: $532; Operating income: $178m

Manchester United are the most valuable football team in the world. While the fall just behind Real Madrid in terms of revenue, Forbes puts their overall value higher than the Spanish side at more than $2.2 million dollars.

The Red Devils have won 19 league with the 20th in their sights this season, and their frequent participation in the Champions League and the vast amounts of TV money help put them at the top of the pile.