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Real Madrid remain Europe’s most valuable football club: report

Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior (L) and Karim Benzema © AFP/File / JAVIER SORIANO

Paris (AFP), May 25 – Real Madrid remain Europe’s most valuable football club despite the ever-growing dominance of the English Premier League, according to a report from analysts Football Benchmark on Thursday.

The report ranks the 32 most important clubs in Europe, calculates their value based on their annual financial statements and assesses team values.

Real, who will face Liverpool in the Champions League final on Saturday, topped the report for the fourth consecutive year, with a valuation of 3.184 billion euros ($3.4 billion).

This is still below their 2020 valuation, just before the pandemic, of almost €3.5 billion, even though the report highlights that they were one of the few clubs to record a net profit in the during the two seasons impacted by the pandemic.

“Real Madrid have extended their lead at the top thanks to continued sporting and commercial success,” says report author Andrea Sartori.

He said Real lost €84m due to no match revenue with fans excluded due to the pandemic.

However, Real “took advantage of the restrictions… by accelerating the works at the Bernabeu. It will be ready in late 2022 or early 2023 and will definitely give them a massive revenue boost and potentially a competitive edge.”

Manchester United (2.9 billion euros) and Barcelona (2.8 billion euros) complete the podium, with Bayern Munich fourth and Liverpool fifth (2.556 billion euros).

Of the 32 most valuable clubs, only four (Ajax, Galatasaray, Porto and Benfica) belong outside Europe’s big five leagues of England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France.

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Ten of the top 32 are English, at a time when Premier League sides dominate Europe.

“What drives English clubs to greater continental glory is their financial success,” the report acknowledges.

“The Premier League’s combined operating income of €5.1bn puts them comfortably at the top”, while “what really sets them apart are high paying broadcast deals”.

Paris Saint-Germain posted the strongest overall growth in value over the seven years since the first Football Benchmark report, up 153% to now reach more than two billion euros.

Importantly, the report adds, football is showing signs that the downturn caused by Covid is over.

“Last year’s financial results still bear the negative impacts of COVID-19, while the past few months reflect strong signs of football returning to normal, notably with crowds returning to stadiums and with demand still strong from sponsors and investors.”