Manchester City score over United as most valuable Premier League club | Business News

Manchester United are not only struggling on the pitch – they have now lost their crown as the Premier League’s most valuable club to Manchester City, according to an academic study.

As well as currently leading the title race, the Sky Blues now top the rich rankings with a price tag of £2.4bn, up £400m on the previous year, research has found.

United are now second in the University of Liverpool’s list, having fallen in value from £2.5bn to £2.1bn.

The Old Trafford side remain ahead of Spurs, which last month reported a world record pre-tax profit of £138.9m, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal.

Manchester City are owned by Sheikh Mansour (centre), a member of Abu Dhabi's royal family
Image:
Manchester City are owned by Sheikh Mansour (centre), a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family

The Gunners were third in last year’s report but saw their value fall by almost a quarter after failing to qualify for the Champions League, and they now trail their north London rivals by around £500m.

The report was compiled by Kieran Maguire, a lecturer of football finance at the university’s Centre for Sports Business Group, with the valuations based on club accounts for the 2017-18 season.

Maguire, who also runs the priceoffootball.com website, uses a valuation model created by Dr Tom Markham, a senior executive for Sports Interactive, the creators of video game Football Manager.

The model takes into account revenue, profits, non-recurring costs, average profits on player trading over three years, net assets, wage control and the proportion of seats sold.

United are still the league’s highest earners with revenues of £590m, but Maguire marks them down because that figure only rose by 1% while the wage bill soared by 13%.

The Old Trafford club also paid out £18m to service the debt placed on them by the Glazer family when they bought the club in 2005 and £22m in shareholder dividends.

Meanwhile, City grew turnover to £500m but managed to reduce the wage bill despite winning the Premier League – achieved by moving on several high earners, which also realised a £39m profit on player trading.

The club is also debt-free and pay no dividends.

But the main factor behind their valuation is the fact they are owned by Sheikh Mansour, a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family.

Overall, the report says the total value of Premier League clubs fell last year by 1.6% to £14.7bn, with the ‘”big six” making up three quarters of the total.

Another indication of the gap between the rich and the rest is sixth-placed Arsenal being worth almost £1bn more than seventh-placed Burnley.

However, the methodology is likely to raise a few eyebrows with the Lancashire side placed ahead of Everton, which is ranked eleventh.

2018 Premier League club valuations:

1. Manchester City – £2.36bn

2. Manchester United – £2.09bn

3. Spurs – £1.84bn

4. Liverpool – £1.62bn

5. Chelsea – £1.62bn

6. Arsenal – £1.37bn

7. Burnley – £400m

8. Newcastle – £380m

9. Leicester – £380m

10. Southampton – £370m

11. Everton – £360m

12. West Ham – £290m

13. Stoke – £240m

14. Huddersfield – £230m

15. Brighton – £220m

16. West Brom – £220m

17. Watford – £210m

18. Crystal Palace – £200m

19. Bournemouth – £180m

20. Swansea – £170m

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