Man United overtake Real Madrid to top Forbes football rich list

Bayern Munich (2.1 billion pounds) and Man City (1.61 billion pounds) finished at fourth and fifth place respectively ahead of Arsenal, who are valued at 1.61 billion pounds.

Forbes Media assistant managing editor Mike Ozanian said: "Manchester United's return to the top spot is a testament to their powerful brand and marketing acumen".

United ended their season at the sixth position on the Premier League table but managed to guarantee themselves a spot in the Champions League by winning the Europa League final.

Last year, Atleti were valued at $633 million, and the magazine stated that the club has seen a 16 percent boost in value - a mark bested in the rankings only by West Ham United (17 percent). "As a result, although not a single team declined in value year-over-year when measured in euros, 9 of the 20 teams decreased when valued in US dollars", Forbes said in its statement. Manchester United is also by far the most profitable soccer team in the world, posting operating income of $288 million, $107 million more than runner-up Real Madrid.

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Tottenham rounded out the top 10 with a value of $1.06 billion.

A club no longer needs to travel to a new country to appeal to a new cross-section of potential consumers.

It all leads to an "increasing concentration of sponsorship and commercial revenue among a handful of clubs". However, Premier League teams dominated this list too as six teams made the cut. However, the Serie A champions topped the list of top Champions League earners for the past five years.

The richest clubs are getting richer, the gap is growing, and football's financial bubble doesn't look like bursting yet.

  • Tabitha Byrd