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French football "is still in the red as all Ligue 1 clubs saw its debt increase at the end of last year, compared to the previous season," according to SPORTS. Ligue 1 "continues to show negative financial results." French newspaper Les Echos, which got its hand on the provisional accounts of the Professional Football League (LFP), reported that "the cumulative loss of 20 elite teams" would be between €70M-€80M ($91M-$104M). At the end of the '11-12 fiscal year, the clubs' debt amounted to just more than €60M. Reports suggested that only three Ligue 1 club "could boast of a positive operating result" (SPORTS, 7/15). LA AFICION reported the league's revenue increased 11.4% to €1.27B ($1.66B), which was primarily explained by Paris St. Germain's image rights contract with the Qatar Tourism Authority (LA AFICION, 7/15).
Real Madrid "is now the world’s most valuable sports franchise," worth $3.3B, surpassing former No. 1 ManU, according to Kurt Badenhausen of FORBES. Los Blancos "have the highest revenues of any team in sports" ($650M during the '11-12 season), and revenues are up 62% over the last three years. Madrid’s operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and player trading) of $134M "is second only to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys among sports teams." The revenue spigot is not "shutting off anytime soon." The club "extended its kit supply deal with adidas last year in a pact worth" $42M a year. ManU ranks second with a value of $3.17B. The club "launched an initial offering to the public in August and the stock is up 23% since then." Investors "are excited about soaring sponsorship revenues." The Red Devils signed a seven-year, $559M shirt sponsorship deal last year with Chevrolet. The club "has 32 official sponsors in total." Barcelona "completes a sweep of the top three" by European football clubs. The reigning La Liga champs are worth $2.6B on the strength of $613M in annual revenue. The MLB N.Y. Yankees "are the most valuable U.S. sports team, ranking fourth overall" at $2.3B (FORBES, 7/15).
SOCIAL MEDIA: FORBES' Badenhausen reported in a separate piece the NFL cannot touch football "when it comes to the global stage." Just "look at the social media followings of the two sports." The NFL's 30 most valuable teams "have 60 million Facebook fans and Twitter followers combined." Spanish club Barcelona "has 61 million all by itself" (FORBES, 7/15).
The World’s Top 10 Most Valuable Sports Teams
Social Media Followers
New England Patriots
John Mara, Steven Tisch