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Thursday, April 19, 2012
Manchester United top football rich list

ESPN staff

Manchester United have fended off Europe's big guns to be named the world's richest club for an eighth year in a row.

United had a successful year on the pitch, winning a record-breaking 19th English top-flight title last term, and that was mirrored off the pitch as a commercial deal propelled their value, according to Forbes Magazine, to a huge 1.39 billion.

"Manchester United's global fan base of some 330 million also helps makes it the most valuable team in any sport, worth $385 million (240m) more than both Major League Baseball's New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League," the Forbes report said.

"During the 2010-11 season Manchester United reaped $192 million (120m) in broadcasting revenue, 22 percent higher than the previous season.

"The club's run last year to the final of the Champions League, where they lost to Barcelona, commanded an $80 million (50m) payout from UEFA."

United's huge global fanbase, estimated by Forbes to number 330million, has helped maintain the club's position at the top. However both Real Madrid and Barcelona have higher revenues than United, due in large part to the fact they have negotiated their own individual television rights deals for Spanish football.

Arsenal are fourth on the list, worth $1.29 billion (800m), behind Real (1.6 billion) and Barca(816 million) but just ahead of Bayern Munich (766 million).

Manchester City are giving chase to United in the league, but they lag way behind in the financial stakes as the Sheikh Mansour-owned club are valued at 276 million - which is only good enough for 13th place.

The Forbes list ranks Chelsea in seventh place, worth 474 million, and Liverpool eighth with a value of 386 million.

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