Manchester Utd ranked world's most valuable club
LONDON - Forbes has ranked Manchester United as the most valuable football club in the world in results based on the 2008-2009 season, although its value is down 2% on its 2007-2008 results.
Manchester United's self-styled 'Theatre of Dreams'
The value of Manchester United is estimated at £1.19 billion, according to the business publisher, some £329 million ahead of second-placed Real Madrid, valued at £861.16 million.
Manchester United's value was based on its worldwide fan base and licensing deals making it a global brand that pulls revenue from outside the UK.
The Red Devil's were followed by Arsenal £768.8 million and Barcelona at £650 million.
Despite the downturn in the economy, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Arsenal fared well, although teams lower down the rankings suffered significant losses. Newcastle United, ranked 20, dropped 30% on the previous season.
Manchester Utd boasts 330 million followers across the world, fortifying its empire of merchandise, sponsorships and subscription based TV station viewers.
The status of the most valuable club brand in the world is currently coming under pressure from the Manchester United Supporters Trust whoe are seeking a change of ownership. The Glazer family, current owners of Manchester Utd, are being pressed by some fans to sell to a consortium called the Red Knights who are seeking to buy them for £1.5 billion.
Last month, a separate ranking by consultants Deloitte, based on revenues, placed Real Madrid ahead of Manchester United.
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