Manchester United beat Barcelona and Real Madrid to be named Europe's most valuable club

Manchester United beat Ajax in the Europa League final last week

Manchester United lifted the Europa League last week

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Manchester United may not be the top team in Europe right now - but their off-field operation continues to hit the target.

United have beaten Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid to be named the most valuable club in Europe by accountants KPMG, who ranked a total of 39 teams by their 'enterprise value' - in other words the amount it would cost to buy the club.

The KPMG valuation formula was based on clubs' revenue from the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons, their total debt, their brand profile and their success in European competitions.

United became the first club to break past £2.7 billion in the enterprise value rankings - a reflection of the club's huge commercial revenue, its vast social media following and its £500m debt pile, which would make the Old Trafford club prohibitively expensive for any prospective buyer. 

United may have finished only sixth in the Premier League, but the club managed to win the Europa League, Europe's second-tier competition, which also contributed to the huge enterprise valuation.

The club has endured a prolonged slump in on-field fortunes since the retirement of Alex Ferguson in 2013, but off the pitch has enjoyed a huge spike in revenues thanks to an innovative 'slice and dice' sponsorship strategy led by chief executive Ed Woodward and managing director Richard Arnold. United have also spent huge sums on players such as Paul Pogba, only increasing the club's social media reach and bringing new promotional opportunities.

Behind United in the KPMG list come Real and Barcelona, with German giants Bayern Munich in fourth. Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs are also in the top 10, reflecting the ever-growing financial strength of the Premier League.

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