Manchester United’s value as a football club has declined since the Glazer family grabbed control but it still remains one of the world’s biggest.
In terms of branding, United have shown a decline and are now well below “noisy neighbours” Manchester City in the pecking order.
According to SportsLens.com via The Daily Star, City are now the second largest football brand in the world behind Real Madrid, with United dropping to fifth place behind Barcelona and Liverpool.
Despite Real and Barça being in the top three, “the Brand Finance survey showed the Premier League still dominates the football world, with a brand value of £7.46bn in 2022.”
This compares to Spain’s La Liga, which is less than half of that at £3.56bn.
However, in terms of the value of the club itself, rather than the brand, United are third in the world, according to Forbes via The Mail.
“The Glazer-owned club has been valued at £3.9billion by the American business magazine, falling just below Real Madrid’s £4.4bn and Barcelona’s £4.3bn valuations,” The Mail reports.
“United has seen its value rise by 24 per cent in the last five years with performances on the pitch not impacting its general market value.”
The fact that United are losing ground in terms of brand value yet maintaining their position in club value can mean two things.
First, it can mean that support is waning (fewer people buying into the brand) but investments and asset values (e.g. player values, share price etc, corporate side) remain buoyant.
Second, it can mean that the club is a “sleeping giant”, where the brand value is a short term indicator of a lack of success on the pitch, but there is an acknowledgement that the worldwide appeal of the club means that it is capable of massive growth when results start to come on the pitch, hence maintaining an intrinsic value.
As rumours continue to grow that the Glazers might be ready to sell the club, the question remains as to how much they will be prepared to sell it for. With a £3.9 million valuation, they will almost certainly be looking for a figure well in excess of that as they aim to get top dollar on their asset.