Following European success, Liverpool Football Club has for the first time in its history been featured in Forbes’ 50 most valuable sports teams in the world.
The Premier League runners up ranked 45th on the overall list, with a valuation of £1.7bn, and was the last of an eight football team lineup to be featured.
Taking top spot for the football teams is Spanish La Liga giants Real Madrid, ranking third overall with a valuation of £3.4bn, with FC Barcelona, who are valued at £3.2bn, finishing a place behind. Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal were the remaining clubs on the list.
The ranking system used by Forbes is based on enterprise values and pre-existing commercial deals. Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes Media, discussed the rising valuations: “The values of teams in major sports leagues are booming thanks to sky-high TV deals, both local and national. And with revenue growing faster than player salaries, franchises are more profitable than they have ever been.”
LFC’s owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), took over the club back in 2010 and has overseen the club’s valuation sky-rocket in the years since. When they took over, the Reds were valued at £437m, indicating a £1.3bn value increase in the nine years following the American takeover.
U.S based sports teams dominated the rest of the ‘top 50’, with the National Football League (NFL) scoring the majority of places with 26 inclusions.
The Dallas Cowboys of the NFL wrangled top spot for the fourth consecutive year, being valued at £4.01bn, with MLB’s New York Yankees ranking second at a £3.7bn valuation.