Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Ahead of Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC and following the success of last two years’ publications, KPMG is releasing the third edition of the “Football Clubs’ Valuation: The European Elite 2018”, a report providing an indication of the Enterprise Value (EV) of the 32 most prominent European football clubs.

Andrea Sartori, KPMG’s Global Head of Sports and the report’s author, commented: “Despite this year’s growth being lower than last year’s 14 percent growth, the football industry continues its rise, showing for the second successive season an EV increase (9 percent) for the top 32 clubs included in our ranking. Overall growth is driven by different factors, one of these being the increase of operating revenues of the top 32, at 8 percent. Eye-catching transfer deals and spiralling staff costs have not prevented such clubs from registering a striking upward trend, as the profits before taxes increased by some 17 times in comparison to the previous year.”

Sartori continued: “One of the reasons for this growth can be found in the significant influence exercised by English clubs, as well as the improved financial health of many mid-size clubs within the ranking, which also reflects compliance with the UEFA FFP Regulations.”

The three places on top are again occupied by Manchester United FC, Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona. With a 5percent EV growth in EUR and 10 percent in GBP, the Red Devils, despite significantly worse sporting results compared to Real Madrid CF and a slight decrease in operating revenues, were able to slightly improve on their high level of profitability and extend their lead over Los Blancos. For Real Madrid CF, winning the quadruple in the 2016/17 season came at a major cost, as the club reduced the profitability parameters and, although not significantly, their final EV (-2 percent), despite registering an 8 percent operating revenue growth. On the other hand, FC Barcelona recorded a minor 1 percent increase, while FC Bayern München have narrowed the gap and got closer to the podium.

The top 10 ranking order has not changed since last year, with Tottenham Hotspur FC taking the headlines again, displaying the highest EV increase (27 percent in EUR, 33 percent in GBP). Such increase is even more prominent if considered over the past two seasons (61 percent or + EUR 485 million).

Further down the ranking, SSC Napoli (17th by EV with a 27 percent growth) becomes the second most valuable club in Italy, behind seven times consecutive Serie A winners Juventus FC and ahead of the two Milan sides: AC Milan (18th) and FC Internazionale Milano (20th). SSC Napoli and Leicester City FC are the only two clubs that recorded a pre-tax profit higher than 100 million EUR, with 101 million and 108 million respectively.

Taking a look outside of the “big guns” of European football, Beşiktaş JK’s top growth (52 percent) does not go unnoticed, capitalising on the first full season playing in the brand new Vodafone Arena and advancing to the Europa League quarter finals in the 2016/17 season.

Performance on social media is one of the five drivers reflected in KPMG’s proprietary algorithm determining the enterprise value of a football club. As there is a clear correlation between a club’s social media presence, on-pitch success, brand value and ultimately EV, this year we have dedicated a chapter of our publication to the topic.

In total, the top 32 clubs according to EV gained close to 111 million new followers across all social media platforms, representing a 10 percent increase over the course of the period under review (from 1 August 2017 to 22 April 2018). A noticeable trend for the overall growth among the top 32 is the rise of Twitter (26 percent) and Instagram (17 percent), as opposed to Facebook’s 4 percent increase.