Manchester United have become the first sports team in the world with a $3billion (£1.9billion) valuation, according to American business magazine Forbes.
They come in first place just ahead of American Football franchise Dallas Cowboys, worth $2.1billion.
According to Forbes: ‘Despite a drop in first quarter earnings because of a reduction in television revenue, the appetite for shares of the 19-time English champion has increased due to better earnings, new sponsorship deals with Japan’s Kansai, and China Construction Bank, and the potential of much more lucrative English Premier League (Manchester United currently is in first place) and Champions League payouts this year.’
Shares in the Old Trafford club did badly at first when they were first offered to the public in August last year, but they have soared over the past few days with the announcements of a number of global sponsorship agreements.
Meanwhile, Manchester City are poised to overtake London powerhouses Arsenal and Chelsea to become the Barclays Premier League’s second-best club at making money.
The champions have surpassed the annual revenues of Tottenham and Liverpool by winning the title, and should move behind only neighbours United in the next two years if they maintain similar success.
City jump five places to seventh in Deloitte’s latest Football Money League table, which ranks the world’s top 20 teams based on cash generated each year.
They made £231.1million in 2011-12, up a remarkable £77.9million (51 per cent) from the previous season to closely trail Arsenal’s £234.9million and Chelsea’s £261million – revenue bolstered by winning the Champions League.
There is welcome news too for Newcastle, who make the list for the first time in three years after finishing fifth in the League. An increase of £7.1million in broadcast revenue combined with average attendances of 50,280 saw them bring in £93.3million to dislodge La Liga’s Valencia in 20th.