Spain may have been embarrassingly dethroned as World Cup holders, but
Real Madrid and Barcelona are still champions at making money after they
were named as the world's two richest sports franchises.
For the second successive year, Forbes business magazine tagged European
champions Real Madrid, where Cristiano Ronaldo plays, as the No 1
sports team with a value of $3.44 billion.
Barcelona, the home of Lionel Messi, Neymar and now the notorious Luis
Suarez, are second in the chart with a current value of $3.2 billion,
while English giants Manchester United are ranked at three at $2.81
billion despite their miserable season.
The only other football club in the top 10 are German champions Bayern
Munich whose current value of $1.85 billion is good enough for seventh
The rest of the top 10 is from Major League Baseball and the National Football League.
The New York Yankees are No 4, valued at $2.5 billion with the Dallas Cowboys, worth $2.3 billion, holding the fifth place.
With 30 teams in the top 50, for the second consecutive year, the NFL occupies 60% of this year's list.
The full list also included six teams from MLB and four from the NBA.
The NFL's prominent standing on the list and the potential sale of the
Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft head Steve Ballmer for $2
billion shows the value of big market sports teams in the USA is higher
Ballmer's proposed record purchase price for the Clippers is 15 times
the revenue. By comparison, in March the Milwaukee Brewers were sold for
five times the revenue.
The Clippers sale is currently hung up in the US court system. Forbes
valued the team at $575 million in January before tentative deal was
Forbes said the stock market's bull run over the last five years,
soaring TV rights and a limited number of teams for sale has contributed
to skyrocketing values like the Clippers.
The average value of the top 50 teams is $1.34 billion, which is an
eight percent increase from last year, according to Forbes which has
been rating the world's leading sports clubs since 1998.
The New York Mets were one of three teams that dropped off this year's
list of the top 50 – the other drop-offs include the Oakland Raiders in
the NFL and McLaren in Formula 1.
Forbes top 10:
1. Real Madrid $3.44 billion
2. Barcelona $3.2 billion
3. Manchester United $2.81 billion
4. New York Yankees $2.5 billion
5. Dallas Cowboys $2.3 billion
6. Los Angeles Dodgers $2.0 billion
7. Bayern Munich $1.85 billion
8. New England Patriots $1.8 billion
9. Washington Redskins $1.7 billion
10. New York Giants $1.55 billion.