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€1.51bn Manchester City named football’s most valuable brand

Manchester City lift another trophy

Manchester City has been named the most valuable football club brand in the world by the Brand Finance Football 50 2023 Report.

The table topping feat marks the first time City, who are currently gunning for a historic treble in this weekend’s Champions League Final, have topped the annual report of football’s great and good.

The report details a 34 per cent positive growth in City’s brand value since the COVID-19 pandemic to €1.51bn, with the Premier League champions overtaking Real Madrid for the top position – Real’s value slipped four per cent over the year to €1.46bn. This is the first time an English club has held the number one spot in six years.

A decade of dominance on the pitch and the highest revenue of any of club in the report were outlined as key drivers for City’s rise in the rankings, although as a caveat the report’s authors, Brand Finance, did note that Real remained the strongest brand in world football and were most likely to be considered ‘the best club in the world’ by fans.

The news comes at the climax of a remarkable season for Manchester City both on and off the pitch. On Saturday, City lifted the FA Cup to complete a domestic double after winning a third successive Premier League last month. The club will be looking to add more silverware to this historic season as it competes in the UEFA Champions League Final this weekend.

This season the club has also topped the Deloitte Money League for the second successive year after announcing a record revenue of £613 million and profits of £41.7 million, the latter being more than double the previous Club record. It has also been a strong year for City’s commercial portfolio with a number of new partners and long-term renewals announced across the season.

City’s retail operation has also continued to break records with incredible demand for the 2022/23 season kits and the most recent, 2023/24 kit launch seeing a new shirt sold every 12 seconds on the first day of sales.

The popularity of the club is also reflected in its huge growth and engagement levels across social media, most notably with City being the most popular European club on YouTube for active users and video views this season.

Looking to the future, Manchester City has submitted a planning application to Manchester City Council for the development of a best-in-class fan experience and year-round entertainment and leisure destination at the Etihad Stadium. This project would add a further £300m to City Football Group’s investment and regeneration work in East Manchester.  

Roel de Vries, chief operating officer at City Football Group, said: “Being recognised as the world’s most valuable football club brand reflects the phenomenal growth story that Manchester City has had in recent years. This achievement recognises the evolution of not just the brand, but the club as a whole. The club has been performing consistently and has broken records on and off the pitch this season, whilst operating in a way that promotes financial sustainability.

“As we look to the future, we want to keep investing in the right things – our football talent, the city of Manchester and our local community, infrastructure and fan experience. We have a proven track record of innovation and are excited for the next chapter in this club’s great history.”

Barcelona came third in this year’s rankings, while English clubs Manchester United and Liverpool rounded out the top five.

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