The World’s Most Valuable Football Teams 2024 saw the average team worth increase to $2.3 billion, marking a 5.1% rise from the previous year despite a decline in TV rights across Europe. In February, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire founder and CEO of the Ineos chemical group, bought a 27.7% stake in Manchester United for an enterprise value of $6.5 billion. This purchase set a record for the richest price ever paid for a sports team where the buyer also gained operating rights. This deal, valued $500 million more than Forbes’ previous estimate of Manchester United’s worth, underscored the club’s $187 million operating income and its global fan base of over 650 million.

The World’s Most Valuable Football Teams 2024: A Billion-Dollar Industry

Manchester United, now valued at $6.55 billion by Forbes, ranks second only to Spain’s Real Madrid, which retained its title as the most valuable team in the world for the third consecutive year with a valuation of $6.6 billion. England’s Premier League, which recently secured a new domestic television deal worth an average of $2.1 billion annually from 2025-26 through 2028-29, continues to dominate the financial landscape. This new deal will more than double the domestic broadcasting revenue of any other football league and nearly double the revenue of Spain’s La Liga when international broadcast deals are considered.

The World’s Most Valuable Football Teams 2024: A Billion-Dollar Industry

European football leagues, except for the Premier League, have been considering loans against future value. Italy’s Serie A sold 10% of its media rights to CVC Capital Partners and Advent International four years ago. In 2022, France’s Ligue 1 sold 13% of its rights to a new subsidiary, also involving CVC, providing a significant cash infusion. Despite these efforts, France had to scrap its broadcasting rights auction last October due to lack of acceptable offers. La Liga followed a similar path, selling 8.2% of a new commercial subsidiary to CVC.

In Germany, Bundesliga supporters have been protesting against selling equity in broadcasting rights, highlighting the challenges European leagues face in securing lucrative deals. The competitive landscape has intensified, making on-pitch performance crucial for top football teams. Seven teams have earned over $100 million in the Champions League semifinals: Real Madrid ($144 million), Paris Saint-Germain ($131 million), Borussia Dortmund ($130 million), Bayern Munich ($129 million), Manchester City ($118 million), Barcelona ($105 million), and Arsenal ($100 million).

The World’s Most Valuable Football Teams 2024: A Billion-Dollar Industry

Real Madrid, generating the most revenue at $873 million, has won the Champions League five times in the past nine years. This success guarantees significant screen time for sponsors, leading to $205 million annually in jersey sponsorship revenue, the highest in football according to Football Benchmark. Other top teams with substantial sponsorship revenues include Barcelona ($189 million), Paris Saint-Germain ($158 million), Arsenal ($158 million), Manchester United ($154 million), Manchester City ($152 million), Chelsea ($126 million), and Bayern Munich ($119 million).

The Premier League also saw teams like Newcastle United, Aston Villa, and Fulham FC increase sponsorship revenues with new front-of-shirt deals starting in the 2023-24 season. Newcastle signed a deal with Sela worth $30 million per year, Aston Villa doubled its sponsorship income with BK8, and Fulham secured a 66% increase with SBOTop.

The World’s Most Valuable Football Teams 2024: A Billion-Dollar Industry showed an overall increase in team valuations despite the challenges in broadcasting revenue. The average football team is now worth $2.3 billion, up 5.1% from the previous year. Operating income saw a significant boost, averaging $36 million, a 57% increase from the prior year, largely due to controlled player wages.

The World’s Most Valuable Football Teams 2024

The World’s Most Valuable Football Teams 2024

Looking ahead, the new Champions League format starting next year will expand the number of teams from 32 to 36 and the number of matches from 125 to 189, predicting a one-third increase in television revenue.

The World’s Most Valuable Football Teams 2024: A Billion-Dollar Industry revealed the financial resilience and global appeal of football teams, with Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Barcelona leading the way in valuations and revenue generation. These teams remain highly sought after by investors, continuing to solidify their positions as some of the most valuable sports franchises in the world.

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