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To derive the enterprise value of the world’s leading soccer clubs, Sportico calculated each team’s revenue, relying on publicly available financial statements, Deloitte’s Football Money League publication, and our own estimates in cases where detailed information was not available. For the Premier League and MLS, we used our previous valuations compiled in January (EPL) and late September (MLS).

Total team revenues are displayed, excluding transfer fees and value added taxes. Revenue consists of three main buckets: broadcast, commercial and matchday. All revenue figures are displayed in U.S. dollars using the average daily exchange rate during the 2021-22 fiscal year: £1 = $1.33 for UK clubs and €1 = $1.13 for teams in continental Europe. Those revenue streams include:

• Broadcast is largely comprised of both domestic and international media deals. Prize money from competitions, such as Champions League, is also included in this bucket. Real Madrid had the highest broadcast revenue for the 2021-22 season at $363 million, while MLS clubs earned less than $10 million last year.

• Commercial revenue is derived from sponsorships, advertising, corporate hospitality, catering and non-matchday events. A team’s jersey sponsor and kit deal generate massive sums for the top clubs. Emirates pays Real Madrid more than $70 million a year to display its name on the team’s home and away jerseys, while Manchester United’s Adidas pact is worth at least $100 million a year and includes the rights to sell merchandise globally stamped with the three-stripes logo. France’s Paris Saint-Germain generated a high of $451 million in commercial revenue through partners like Nike, Qatar Airways, GOAT and Visit Rwanda.

• Matchday revenue from ticket sales, membership income, cup competitions and preseason tickets is generally the smallest revenue component for European teams. Matchday revenue rebounded during the 2021-22 season after most games were played with no fans or at reduced stadium capacities in the previous year. PSG was also first in matchday revenue with $148 million, just ahead of Manchester United at $147 million.

Revenue totals were subject to a team-specific multiplier, which remains the standard metric for valuing sports teams in transactions. Earnings can have dramatic fluctuations from year to year, based on player spending and special expenses. In addition, most of the top 50 soccer clubs have lost money in recent years.

We conducted interviews with those knowledgeable of team finances, including 10 sports bankers and attorneys who actively work on soccer transactions, as well as more than a dozen individuals at firms investing in global soccer franchises. We traded candor for anonymity. This information was vetted by multiple teams and industry experts.

The team-specific multipliers were based on multiple factors, including: historical sales, market (size, saturation and interest by prospective owners), strength of brand, on-field performance (historical and recent), terms of facility lease, debt burden and additional obligations, as well as expected future team and league economics. Values for European clubs were converted to U.S. dollars based on the April 28 exchange rate of €1 = $1.10.

The threat of relegation results in a dramatically larger spread in revenue multiples for European clubs than in U.S. sports leagues. Multiples ranged from 2.5 times revenue for Leicester City to 8 for Manchester United.

Given the business disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, we utilized the last three full seasons of revenue (2017-18, 2018-19 and 2021-22) and applied the multiples to that average as a baseline. Revenue for European soccer clubs can fluctuate significantly from year to year based on performance in competitions, like Champions League.

Among the 50 most valuable franchises, nearly half of the teams or their parent companies participated with Sportico by providing or validating information, while others did not comment or respond.

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