English Premier League giants Manchester United have once again been rated the most valuable football club for a second consecutive year by the influential Forbes magazine.
Jose Mourinho’s team which finished last season as runners-up to rivals Manchester City, were valued at $4.12 billion, 12 percent higher than last year when they ended Champions League holders Real Madrid’s four-year hold at the top of the list.
According to a statement by Forbes, the average value of the top 20, which relates to the 2016-17 season, rose by 14 percent over the period.
Real Madrid came in second with a value of $4.08 billion, up 14 percent from the previous year, while Barcelona ($4.06 billion), Bayern Munich ($3.06 billion) and United’s neighbors Manchester City ($2.47 billion) rounded off the top five.
There was room for six English clubs in the top 10 to underline the financial strength of the Premier League.
The valuations are based on the level of equity plus net debt and, according to Forbes, Barcelona or Real Madrid could soon take over top spot — Madrid because of their consistently high performance in the Champions League and Barcelona because of additional expected revenue from their renovated stadium when completed in four years.
The 20 most valuable soccer teams are now worth an average of $1.69 billion.
The 10 most valuable soccer teams (in billions):
1. Manchester United ($4.12)
2. Real Madrid ($4.08)
3. Barcelona ($4.06)
4. Bayern Munich ($3.06)
5. Manchester City ($2.47)
6. Arsenal ($2.23)
7. Chelsea ($2.06)
8. Liverpool ($1.94)
9. Juventus ($1.47)
10. Tottenham Hotspur ($1.23)