Treble Champions, Man City Grabs Most Valuable Football Club Brand; As Real Remains Strongest Football Club Brand


The year 2023 will remain evergreen in the mind of Manchester City FC as the team became the second English side to win the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup in the same season. And that was not all. The team became the world’s most valuable football brand, ending Real Madrid’s four-year streak at the top while Real Madrid still held on as the world’s strongest football club brand.

This is according to the Brand Finance Football 50 2023 report, which shows that Manchester City FC’s club’s brand value has seen a positive increase of 34% growth since the Covid-19 pandemic and has now reached an all-time high.

Securing first place, Manchester City FC (brand value up 13% to €1.5bn) has achieved a historic milestone by surpassing Real Madrid CF (brand value down 4% to €1.5bn) as the world’s most valuable football club brand.

The Club boasts the highest revenue in this year’s table, a key driver in its ascent to the top.

According to Hugo Hensley, head of sports services at Brand Finance, “Manchester City FC has achieved an extraordinary feat by surpassing Real Madrid to become the champion of football club brands.”

“For a decade now, the City team has exerted its dominance in English football, including securing four Premier League titles in the past five seasons.

“However, the club’s performance in this year’s ranking highlights that Manchester City FC is performing off the pitch in terms of building a strong brand and attracting fans and sponsors” explains Hensley.

Following Real Madrid in 2nd, FC Barcelona (brand value up 4% to €1.4bn) defends its 2022 rank in third, as does Club Atletico de Madrid (brand value down 5% to €549.56m) in 12th.

Manchester United FC (brand value up 9% to €1.4bn) now sits one rank ahead of its historic rival Liverpool FC (brand value up 7% to €1.4bn) in fourth and fifth position respectively.

Both clubs have recorded positive brand value trajectories since 2022, finally surpassing their pre-pandemic values.

After two Covid-hit seasons, 2022-2023 saw the continued return of live matches and fans to stadiums, resulting in increased ticket sales and revenues.

Arsenal FC (brand value up 14% to €906.28m) is up two positions from 2022 and now ranks eighth.

Paris Saint-Germain (brand value up 10% to €1.1bn) has moved up one rank into sixth, overtaking 2022 rival FC Bayern Munich (brand value down 1% to €1.1bn) who drops to seventh.

Germany has 10 clubs in the 2023 ranking, with its strongest and most valuable club brand, FC Bayern Munich holding its top 10 rank in seventh.

This strong result indicates that the club maintains a favourable global reputation, attributed to the successful legacy and rich heritage of its nation’s football culture.

While beaten out of the top spot by Manchester City FC this year, Real Madrid CF strikes again as the strongest and second-most valuable football club brand.

In 2022, Brand Finance research determined that the Spanish powerhouse was the most likely club to be rated ‘the best club in the world’ by fans.

AC Milan (brand value up 33% to €357.98m) ranks 15th this year and is named the fastest-growing football club brand, closely followed by SSC Napoli, (brand value up 31% to €239.81m) in 18th as the second-fastest growing.

AC Milan had a successful season, reaching the Champions League semi-finals and holding a respectable 4th position in Serie A. The club’s brand value has increased through royalties and sponsorships, totalling nearly €20m in 2022.

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