COVID-19 implications cost top clubs €751m in brand value

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The cost of COVID-19 has severely affected the brand value of multiple football clubs with the top 50 teams losing a total of €751m in value, according to the latest Brand Finance Football Annual report.

It marks the first time in six years brand value by the top 50 clubs has declined. The report suggests that the reasoning for this is the impact of the global health pandemics on the three main revenue streams, matchday, broadcasting, and commercial.

Manchester United’s brand value alone has declined by an estimated £143m according to Brand Finances figures. Due to the Premier League club’s loss in value, Man United has also dropped down the table to third after being overtaken by Barcelona.

The report, which analyses clubs to determine the value of the team, has revealed that Real Madrid remains the world’s most valuable football brand at €1.42 billion. However the club has suffered the effects of the global health pandemic with its value dropping by 14 per cent compared to last year.

Since the La Liga champions have also declined, in terms of brand value, Barcelona are now only €6m behind the club due to a ‘strong and diverse revenue generation’ by the Caltalan side.

Overall, English clubs have dominated the list with six clubs included in the top ten. Moreover, 19 teams are in the firm’s top 50 list with Leicester City showing the greatest improvement by recording over 40 per cent growth compared to last year.

Akin to the Premier League this season Liverpool have also overtaken Manchester City on the list. Liverpool has recorded an increase of six percent with the club being valued at €1.26 billion in fourth. Additionally Man City suffered a £118m loss resulting in a 10.4 per cent decline.

The remaining Premier League sides in the top 10 were Chelsea (€949m), Tottenham (€783m), and Arsenal (€719m) who placed eight, ninth and tenth respectively.

Speaking about the Brand Finance Football Annual report Richard Haigh, Managing Director, Brand Finance stated: “Top-level football has been confronted with the largest existential threat since the Second World War. Loss of income, coupled with health concerns about mass gatherings, have raised question marks about the future of the industry and the financial resilience of clubs across all levels.

“The full damage of the COVID-19 crisis has yet to unfold and it is not inconceivable there will be casualties in the form of club bankruptcies and changes in ownership.”

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