Madrid tops European rich list

Real Madrid remains Europe’s most valuable soccer club despite the ever-increasing dominance of the English Premier League, according to a report published Thursday by analytics firm Football Benchmark.,The report ranks Europe’s 32 most prominent clubs, calculating their value based on their annual financial statements and assessing squad values.,Madrid, which faces Liverpool in Saturday’s Champions League final, came out on top for the fourth consecutive year of the report, with a valuation of 3.184 billion euros ($3.4 billion).,That is still short of the club’s valuation in 2020, just before the pandemic, of nearly 3.5 billion euros, although the report points out that Madrid was one of a few clubs to register a net profit in both pandemic-affected seasons.,”Real Madrid has extended its lead at the top due to continuous sporting and commercial success,” said the report’s author, Andrea Sartori.,The report said Madrid lost 84 million euros due to the absence of match-day revenues with supporters shut out during the pandemic.,However, Madrid “made the most of the restrictions… accelerating works on the Bernabeu. It will be ready at the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023 and will certainly give them a massive revenue boost and potentially a competitive advantage”.,Manchester United (2.9 billion euros) and Barcelona (2.8 billion euros) rounded out the top three, with Bayern Munich fourth and Liverpool fifth (2.556 billion euros).,Of the 32 most valuable clubs, only four (Ajax, Galatasaray, Porto and Benfica) are not from the big five European leagues of England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France.,Ten of the top 32 are English, at a time when Premier League sides are dominating in Europe.,”What is pushing English clubs toward increased continental glory is their success on the financial side,” the report acknowledges.,”The Premier League’s aggregate operating revenues of 5.1 billion euros put it comfortably at the top,” while “what really sets it apart are highly remunerative broadcasting agreements”.,Paris Saint-Germain boasts the highest overall growth in value over the seven years since the first Football Benchmark report, up 153 percent to now more than 2 billion euros.,Above all, the report added, soccer is showing signs that the downturn caused by COVID-19 is over.,”Last year’s financial results still bear the negative impacts of COVID-19, while the past several months reflect solid signs of football returning to normal, most notably with crowds back in stadia and with continued robust demand from sponsors and investors.”,AFP