Manchester United have been named by Forbes Magazine as the world’s third most valuable sports team, behind the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees.
United, who topped the annual list in 2011 and 2012, leapfrogged Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid to take the title of the world’s most valuable football team at £2.86bn ($3.69bn).
In total, seven football teams made the 50-team list with Bayern Munich coming in 15th at £2.1bn ($2.71bn), Manchester City coming 35th on £1.61bn ($2.083bn); Arsenal at 43rd on £1.49bn ($1.93bn) and Chelsea in 46th on £1.42bn ($1.845bn).
Forbes’ top 10 most valuable teams
Dallas Cowboys £3.26bn ($4.2bn) New York Yankees £2.87bn ($3.7bn) Manchester United £2.86bn ($3.69bn) Barcelona £2.82bn ($3.64bn) Real Madrid £2.78bn ($3.58bn) New England Patriots £2.64bn ($3.4bn) New York Knicks £2.56bn ($3.3bn) New York Giants £2.4bn ($3.1bn) San Francisco 49ers £2.33bn ($3bn) Los Angeles Lakers £2.33bn ($3bn)
Despite not winning a Super Bowl since 1996, the Dallas Cowboys comfortably finished first after being valued at £3.26bn ($4.2bn), an increase of five per cent. The Cowboys also finished first in 2016 as they unseated Real Madrid at the top of the list.
The 32-team NFL is the world’s richest league, with an average operating profit of $91m and no club turning over less than a $26m profit.
Only three NFL clubs missed the 50-team Forbes richest roll call – the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills.
Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees ranked second on £2.86bn ($3.7bn), a nine per cent boost from last year. They boast £93m in sponsorships and £100m in premium seat revenues, tops in the major leagues. In all, eight major league clubs made the Forbes list.
Topping NBA clubs in seventh overall were the New York Knicks on £2.55bn ($3.3bn), up 10 per cent in value despite struggling on the basketball court. They have not had a play-off berth or winning season since 2013 and have won only one play-off series since 2000.
In all, there were seven NBA clubs on the list. The reigning champion Golden State Warriors shared 20th with the NFL’s Houston Texans on £2bn ($2.6b), leaping 37 per cent in value.
The biggest gainer on the list was the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, doubling in value after a move from St. Louis to land in 12th overall with a new stadium owned by Stan Kroenke set to open in 2020.
Kroenke is also the biggest shareholder in Arsenal, which suffered the list’s worst plunge, tumbling 20 spots and off four per cent due to a decline in the British pound after Britain voted to leave the European Union.
Liverpool, who finished 41st in 2016, were among two teams to fall off the list entirely along with the NBA’s Houston Rockets.