London: English football club Manchester United was named the world’s most valuable football brand, replacing German club Bayern Munich, according to a report from consultancy Brand Finance.
Despite a season without any silverware, United have become the first billion dollar football brand, with 63 percent growth bringing the total brand value to $1.2 billion.
Bayern slipped to second in the football brand table, with Spanish side Real Madrid third and Paris St-Germain in ninth. English clubs Manchester City (fourth )and Chelsea (fifth) lie next.
Spanish club FC Barcelona, despite its resounding 3-1 win over Juventus in the Champions League final on Saturday, slipped two places from last year to sixth most valuable club, worth $773 million.
Six of the top 10 most valuable club brands were from England. There were no Italian clubs in the top 10. “Manchester United’s success has been masterminded by Ed Woodward, the Ronaldo of football’s commercial sphere,” David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance, was quoted as saying by bbc.co.uk.
“As Sir Alex Ferguson developed United’s world-beating reputation, Woodward (and United’s owners the Glazers) capitalised on the brand’s growing power to establish a worldwide fan-base and a range of sponsorship deals unrivalled in their number and value,” Haigh said.