Man U valued at £1.19bn – so the Red Knights are about right

Forbes magazine has produced its latest valuation of the world’s top football clubs and, once again, Manchester United comes top with a valuation of £1.19bn.

Mind you, Newcastle United, recently promoted from the Championship, also makes the top ten which leads you to think that these American journos have a slightly sketchy understanding of the game they call ‘soccer.’

£1.19bn is very close to the £1.25bn valuation placed on Man U by Jim O’Neill and his bunch of self-styled ‘Red Knight’ rich supporters who are trying to buy the club off the Glazer family.

The Glazers, who say they don’t want to sell the club anyway despite the growing protests against their ownership, would no doubt argue that the sum of £1.25bn therefore fails to include any kind of bid premium. But it’s still a hell of a lot more than they paid for it (with Man U’s own money mostly) so why not cash in guys?

Following United in the top ten are Real Madrid (£859m) and Arsenal (£767m), ahead of the likes of Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea and AC Milan. And Newcastle of course.

Actually Arsenal will surely take over as top dog soon despite trying times on the pitch. With the club’s debt tumbling its takings from the 60,000 seater Emirates stadium alone will produce a torrent of free cash, aside from the swag it gains from broadcast rights and sponsorship.

Finally a word of warning. Readers who click on the link to the BBC website will find a picture of Gary Neville kissing Paul Scholes. Not for those of a delicate disposition.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.