Football

United beat Madrid and Arsenal to title

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Manchester United have scored another title success by being valued as the biggest football club in the world.

Despite a turbulent year for British clubs, the Old Trafford side held on to top spot in Forbes Magazine's list of the world's 20 most valuable football teams.

Seven of the 20 teams featuring in the table hailed from England - despite the Barclays Premier League being the most indebted in Europe, according to governing body UEFA.

United, who have now topped the table for six years, were valued by Forbes at £1.19 billion after a 2% fall from last year. Newcastle, rated as 20th most valuable, were a surprise inclusion after being relegated last year.

Arsenal came third, ahead of Liverpool in sixth, Chelsea in ninth and Tottenham at 12th. Big-spending Manchester City trailed in 19th place. Peter Schwartz, a business sports writer for Forbes, praised United's resilience as "one of the world's biggest sporting brands".

He said: "The club has really established itself as one of the top brands in world sport.

"New kit deals and great marketing has seen them maintain their status despite all the problems of the global recession."

Real Madrid were forced to settle for second place - despite signing Cristiano Ronaldo from United last summer. The world's 20 most valuable clubs generated a combined £422million in operating income last season, a Forbes spokesman said.

Combined revenues grew by £23.4million to £3.57 billion for the 2008-09 season, Forbes said. "The top five clubs took in 86% of the total because their worldwide following allows them to grab much more sponsorship and media revenue," a spokesman added."

Broadcast rights account for 42% of the revenue of Europe's top 20 clubs.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester United

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