Treble-chasing Manchester City have added another title – the world’s most valuable football club brand.
City have received the accolade from leading brand consultancy Brand Finance, whose annual Football 50 list is published today.
The Abu Dhabi-owned club have overtaken Real Madrid at the top of the rankings for the first time following their sustained on-field success.
City, who on Saturday added the FA Cup to their Premier League title, have seen their brand value grow by 16 per cent to £1.299bn.
The Blues, who face Inter Milan in this weekend’s Champions League final, have the highest revenue of all clubs in the top 50.
That has been driven by prize money and TV payments from European chiefs Uefa and the Premier League, as well as lucrative sponsorship deals with Etihad and Puma.
Some of those commercial contracts remain the subject of a dispute with the Premier League, for which they received 115 charges of rule breaches. City are contesting the claims.
“Manchester City FC has achieved an extraordinary feat by surpassing Real Madrid to become the champion of football club brands,” said Hugo Hensley, Head of Sports Services at Brand Finance.
“For five years, the City team has exerted its dominance in English football, securing four Premier League titles in the past five seasons.
“However, the club’s performance in this year’s ranking highlights that Manchester City are performing off the pitch in terms of building a strong brand and attracting fans and sponsors, and setting the stage for what could be an iconic Champions League final against Inter Milan.”
Real Madrid have seen their brand value fall three per cent to £1.258bn after failing to retain the Champions League or win Spain’s LaLiga.
Rivals Barcelona are placed third, with Manchester United overtaking Liverpool for fourth place in Brand Finance’s list.
United’s brand value is up 11 per cent to £1.174bn thanks to an on-field resurgence and the resilience of their global appeal.
Liverpool’s failure to finish in the domestic top four or go deep in European competition has seen them slip one place despite brand value growing nine per cent to £1.173bn.
Arsenal posted the biggest increase in brand value among the top 10 to jump Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea into eighth position.
The Gunners have seen their brand value grow 16 per cent to £782m as they enjoyed their best Premier League season for seven years.
Spurs and Chelsea also achieved more modest increases, by five and two per cent respectively, but paid for poor campaigns.
West Ham United, who have reached this week’s Europa Conference League final, are 16th after their grand value grew seven per cent to £266m.
Newcastle United achieved the biggest brand value increase of any British team, up 33 per cent to £216m, as they qualified for the Champions League for the first time in two decades.
London clubs Brentford and Fulham are new entries in the Football 50 after cementing their Premier League status.
Brazil’s Flamengo, at 50th, are the only non-European team in the ranking.