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Manchester United named world’s most valuable football brand

By Tom Walker    08 Jun 2015
Manchester United has a strong fan base across the globe

Manchester United has been ranked as the world's most valuable football brand, overtaking German giants Bayern Munich at the top of the table.

The annual Football 50 report by consultancy Brand Finance estimates that United – which has failed to win any major trophies for two years – has a brand worth of US$1.2bn (£789m), ahead of Bayern Munich’s US$944m (£612m) and Spanish club Real Madrid’s US$873m (£572m).

Despite completing a historic treble this year (winning the UEFA Champions League, the Spanish championship and the Spanish cup), FC Barcelona has slipped down to 6th in the brand value table.

The English Premier League is still seen as the most valuable domestic league in the world, with six of its clubs (Man Utd, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham) placed in the top 10 most valuable brands.

The highest placed club outside of Europe is Brazilian Sao Paulo FC at 43 – just behind clubs such as Leicester City FC and Portuguese champions SL Benfica.

Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said that Man Utd’s top spot is down to excellence in marketing – rather than on the pitch.

“Manchester United’s success has been masterminded by executive vice-chair Ed Woodward, the Ronaldo of football’s commercial sphere,” Haigh said.

“As Sir Alex Ferguson developed United’s world-beating reputation, Woodward (and United’s owners the Glazers) capitalised on the brand’s growing power to establish a worldwide fan-base and a range of sponsorship deals unrivalled in their number and value.”

To see the full list of the world’s 50 top football brands, click here.

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