Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!
The 10 Most Valuable Football Clubs in the World in 2023
The titans of the pitch include, among others, Real Madrid in La Liga and Manchester United in the Premier league.
In professional sports, owning a team franchise is big business. Dan Snyder, the embattled, now-former owner of Washington Commanders who initially bought the team – then the Washington Redskins – for $800 million in 1999 recently sold the fledgling NFL team for $6 billion. In the NBA, after purchasing the Charlotte Hornets for $275 million in 2010, NBA GOAT Michael Jordan now seeks to cash in his chips on the LaMelo Ball-led North Carolina squad for a whopping $3 billion golden parachute.
While those numbers are staggering to say the least, Forbes reports that professional footy clubs around the globe have enjoyed major spikes in value in recent years, including the Red Devils, which saw a jaw-dropping 30% rise in brand value from 2022-2023. Generally speaking, the surges stem not from just revenue gains, but from higher enterprise multiples (value divided by revenue) that prospective buyers are willing to shell out.
Now, thanks to lucrative broadcast television and streaming contracts, integrated branded partnerships, and massive liquidity infusions from new ownership groups, other major football clubs around the world are doing what they can to follow Old Trafford’s blueprint for success. Here’s a look at the top 10 most valuable football clubs on the planet in 2023.
Real Madrid – $6.07 Billion
The La Liga behemoths won the Champions League last season to earn the club a record-setting 14th European Cup. Real’s success on the pitch powered the club to $146 million from UEFA alone – the highest total revenue from any club, per Forbes. Voted by FIFA, reports Bleacher Report, as the most successful football club of the 20th century, the 35-time La Liga champions could potentially see their already astronomical value skyrocket even further should the French phenom Kylian Mbappé grace the hallowed halls of Santiago Bernabéu Stadium now that he’s snubbed his Saudi suitors.
Manchester United – $6 Billion
Since 1889, Manchester United has won England’s top-flight division a record 20 times, reports Statista, generating legions of diehard fans all over the globe. From David Beckham to Sir Alex Ferguson, to Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, many of the sport’s best footballers have represented Old Trafford on the pitch, further boosting the club’s commercial brand viability through their own success. Owned by the Glazer family, the Red Devils were originally purchased by Malcolm Glazer in 2005 through the investment firm, Red Football Ltd., reports Goal, and now, according to Sportico, the gem of the EPL that was purchased for $1.5 billion could fetch a sale north of $7 billion should Qatari royal Sheikh Jassim make a deal with the family of real estate moguls that also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Barcelona – $5.51 Billion
Founded in 1899 by businessman Joan Gamper, Real Madrid’s La Liga rival Barcelona ranks third on the list, generating $721 million per year in revenue along with $2 billion in broadcast deals and $1.8 billion in commercial earnings, reports Forbes. Having earned 26 La Liga titles, Blaugrana remains one of the most beloved football clubs in the world, thanks to former greats like Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Xavi, and the GOAT himself, Lionel Messi.
Liverpool – $5.29 Billion
Claiming the fourth spot, Liverpool, which NBA legend LeBron James owns two percent of, is the second most valuable club in the English Premier League. Managed now by Jurgen Klopp, the Reds set record-high revenue for the 2021-2022 season with nearly $800 million in revenue, per Forbes. With major star power like Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Ibrahima Konaté, the boys from Anfield look to build on their momentum from last year to challenge Man City for EPL supremacy.
Manchester City – $4.99 Billion
Despite heavy sanctions from Premier League brass, stemming from more than 100 breaches in the league’s financial fair play rules that go as far back as 2009, the year after Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan initially bought the team, the recent Treble-winning Citizens remain one of the most valuable football clubs in the world. Considering how triumphant City was behind the record-shattering play of Norwegian superstar Erling Haaland, the Citizens could see their nearly $5 billion evaluation balloon further.
Bayern Munich – $4.86 Billion
Earning the title of the most valuable club in Germany’s Bundesliga, Bayern Munich was the only team in its league to report after-tax profits in all three pandemic-affected seasons, according to Forbes. The 32-time Bundesliga champions and six-time Champions League winners have cemented the club’s popularity, according to Bundesliga, by continuing to be majority owned and controlled by the club’s members instead of a single financial backer.
Paris Saint-Germain – $4.21 Billion
Having boasted for years an absurd lineup of some of the biggest celebrity footballers on the planet with Messi, Mbappé, and Neymar, it’s easy to see how the fabled Paris-based club secured a spot amongst the 10 most valuable football clubs in the world. France’s most celebrated club experienced first-hand the cost of winning as it shelled out the highest wage bill ever recorded in European football, per Forbes. Still, now that Argentina’s World Cup-winning talisman shipped out to Miami in the MLS, and Mbappé is likely to depart for Real Madrid, that 32% boost in value the 11-time Ligue 1 winners experienced between 2022-2023 could potentially plummet.
Chelsea – $3.1 Billion
Formerly owned by Roman Abramovich, an ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, the Blues have finally managed to move on from highly restrictive government sanctions, since Todd Boehly took over ownership in 2022. Now that Chelsea has signed its new skipper Mauricio Pochettino and jettisoned several star players like Mason Mount and USMNT bastion Christian Pulisic, Stamford Bridge will look a lot differently by design, one that could potentially impact the club’s value.
Tottenham Hotspur – $2.8 Billion
Owned by Joseph Lewis and Daniel Levy, Tottenham Hotspur enjoyed a 10% value bump from a year ago, bringing nearly $600 million in revenue, reports Forbes. Should the Spurs retain the talents of England’s captain Harry Kane – a product of Tottenham’s celebrated youth academy – while his pitch partner Son Heung-Min finally ropes in Kim Min-jae, the Spurs could make a title run under the new manager and former Celtic boss, Ange Postecoglou. On-field success like that could help the club close the gap between the other more valuable Premier League teams.
Arsenal – $2.26 Billion
Securing the 10th and final spot on the list is Arsenal, the last of the EPL teams to gain entry. The Kroenke family owns the Gunners and, like he did by shelling out big bucks to build the Super Bowl-winning Los Angeles Rams, Stan, the family patriarch, has again been doling out the cash this summer to the tune of $257 million to push Mikel Arteta’s squad over the hump, reports the Daily Mail. By adding Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, and Jurrien Timber, Kroenke hopes to finally end the Gunners’ 20-year title drought – a quest that could greatly increase the club’s value while also simultaneously stuffing his coffers.