Why Manchester United, Worth $3.5 Billion, Not Among Most Valuable Teams


I’ve gotten several queries since we published our annual ranking of NFL team values on Monday about why Manchester United was not included as one of the world’s five most valuable sports teams.

In my article on our NFL valuations, I wrote: “For those keeping score, the five most valuable sports teams in the world are now the Cowboys ($4 billion), Real Madrid ($3.26 billion), New England Patriots ($3.2 billion), New York Yankees ($3.2 billion) and Barcelona ($3.16 billion).”

Manchester United is one of the few sports teams that have publicly traded shares. The enterprise value for the legendary English soccer team at the close of trading yesterday was $3.53 billion, behind only our estimate for the Cowboys.

But we calculate team values for soccer, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, NASCAR, Formula One only once a year. So it would have been unfair to give Manchester United a current value and not all the of the other teams, some of which have signed richer sponsorship and television deals since our last ranking of their respective sport, and therefore would be worth more.

Also worthy of keeping in mind is that Manchester United’s value has been volatile in part because of factors unrelated to the team’s business. Specifically, swings in equity markets due to macro economics and currency fluctuations.

Here is Manchester United’s quarterly enterprise value the past year, according to Bloomberg:

Current: $3.53 bil.

Mike Ozanian

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