United 'most valuable club'

2010-04-22 08:12

London - Manchester United has been ranked football's most valuable team by Forbes magazine for the sixth straight year as a group of investors and fans try to buy the heavily indebted club.

The American business magazine's valuation is $1.8bn, but the Glazer family owners are resisting the hostile Red Knights campaign to buy the 18-time English champions and their debt of $1.1bn.

Based on Forbes' estimation, which takes into account revenue growth, profitability and debt levels in the 2008-09 season, United is the most valuable sports team in the world.

Real Madrid is second in the football list at $1.323bn, with Arsenal third at $1.181bn - the same top three as last year.

Barcelona has leapt to fourth from seventh after winning the Champions League plus a Spanish league and cup double last season, taking Bayern Munich's place after the German side's value dropped by 11% to $990m.

Liverpool, which is sixth at $822m, is looking for a buyer and its American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. are confident that their off-field activities this year have increased the value of the club despite being unlikely to qualify for the Champions League next season.

The top ten is completed by AC Milan ($800m), Juventus ($656m), Chelsea ($646m) and Inter Milan ($413mm).