Manchester United finished the 2016/17 Premier League campaign in 6th place. They had success in Europe albeit in UEFA’s secondary cup competition winning the Europa League. Nevertheless, the Red Devils took the title that quietly owners and club bean counters like the most…Europe’s Most Valuable Club.
That’s right; Manchester United beat out the UEFA Champions League and La Liga winners Real Madrid, La Liga runners-up Barcelona, Italy’s Serie A winner from the past 6 seasons – Juventus, and the Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich to the title.
According to worldwide professional services firm KPMG, who compiled the rankings from clubs’ financial statements from 2014 to 2016, Manchester United’s wealth supremacy is down to factors far beyond performance on the pitch. While the continued global expansion of the Premier League played a part — indeed, six of the top 10 clubs are based in England — the larger factor may be something known as kit value.
Kit value, essentially the value of a club’s jersey, is more than simply the cost of a Paul Pogba jersey off the rack. It’s evidence of the branding, popularity and reach of a club, in addition to how valuable the shirt sponsorship becomes as a result. Manchester United leads the way on that list, as well.
The rest of the top 10 richest clubs in Europe are, as you might expect, those that might be recognized as easily in Malaysia as Mali or Missouri. Real Madrid and Barca finished in 2nd and 3rd, respectively, followed by Bayern Munich in fourth, the only German club to make the list, followed by Premier League sides Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool, and Italian side Juventus come in ninth.
Tottenham Hotspur recently moved into 10th place, giving the Premier League six teams in the top 10. Spurs, who finished second this past season and have made significant inroads in both the U.S. and Asian markets in recent years, is a good example of how that kit value can translate immediately into club value.