BAYERN Munich’s ascent to the status of football’s pre-eminent global superpower is underlined today when the Bavarian outfit are crowned the most valuable brand in world football.
The German champions, who on Saturday also became kings of Europe, have seen their brand value swell 14 per cent to £566m in 2013, according to leading consultancy Brand Finance’s study of the top 50 clubs. Bayern’s growth lifted them ahead of Premier League champions Manchester United, who fell to second in the Football 50, despite their brand value growing slightly from £540m to £551m.
Spanish juggernauts Real Madrid (£409m) and Barcelona (£376m) remain in third and fourth, though a considerable distance behind the top two, with London clubs Chelsea (£275m) and Arsenal (£270m) fifth and sixth.
Liverpool, rapidly expanding Manchester City, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund, who lost 2-1 to domestic rivals Bayern in the weekend’s Champions League final at Wembley, complete the top 10.
Brand value is based on an estimate of the club’s future earnings and represents the cost a third party would theoretically have to pay to licence the use of the brand. Brand Finance’s study, calculated for 31 December 2012 and published today, also rates brand strength, using a similar scale to credit ratings, which is combined with earning figures to determine brand value.
Bayern’s success has helped the Bundesliga attain voguish status, however English top-flight clubs outstrip their German counterparts in the Football 50 by 14 to eight.
Tottenham (£144m) rank 12th, while West Ham (£54m), Newcastle (£53m), Aston Villa (£53m), Everton (£52m), Fulham (£50m) and Sunderland (£48m) are all in the world’s top 35.
“The commercial transformation of the English game, which has created hugely successful global brands, had been seen as the model to emulate,” said Brand Finance chief executive David Haigh.
“However, the escalation of player wages, poor financial management and alienation of grass roots fans has left many people jaded. In contrast, the cheap tickets, high attendances, democratic ownership structure and financial prudence of the Bundesliga now looks like an attractive alternative, particularly now it is delivering world-beating, fluid football rather than the more workmanlike style German teams had been known for.
“Just as British politicians and business journalists have long been calling for our economy to emulate the German Mittelstand, now sports commentators are wondering whether we can learn from the Bundesliga.”