English giants Manchester United have defied the odds to be the world’s most valuable football team according to the Forbes football rich list 2017 published on Tuesday.
The Red Devils who were valued at $3.69 billion (£2.86bn), jumped up two places from last year’s list and took the top spot from reigning Spanish and European champions Real Madrid for the first time in five years.
United’s revenue for the 2015 – 16 season was rated at $765 million (£593m) with a margin of $77 million (£60m) more than Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Mike Oznian of Forbes credited these huge figures to the club’s marketing and advertising strategies as they signed a few big names that included manager Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahamovic.
The list had some surprises with Real Madrid falling to third behind native rivals Barcelona, from the top where they had been for the last four years in a row. Their position is anticipated to get better with the recent successes in Spain and Europe.
United’s cross town rivals Man City came in at fifth replacing north Londoners Arsenal and the Premier League was noted as the most valued league in the world as it had six clubs in the top 10 list.