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Volume 6 No. 216

Finance

Real Madrid has surpassed ManU as the most valuable football franchise in Forbes' annual list of The World's Top 20 Most Valuable Soccer Teams. Real Madrid is valued at $3.3B, more than a 76% increase over last year. It becomes the most valuable sports franchise in the world. ManU now ranks No. 2, valued at $3.17B. This is the first time since Forbes began valuing football teams in '04 that ManU is not No. 1 on the list (Forbes). FORBES' Mike Ozanian reported Real Madrid generated operation income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and player trading) of $134M, "more than any football team and second only to the NFL's Dallas Cowboys" ($227M). Thanks "to rich sponsorship deals" that are underpinned by the team's storied history of trophies and star players that were or are global themselves -- Raul Blanco, David Beckham, Ronaldo Lima, Cristiano Ronaldo -- Real Madrid's "revenue increased 62% over the past three years with an average operating margin of 28%." In hot pursuit of Real Madrid and ManU is Barcelona. Barça's "value doubled over the past year, the biggest increase of any top 20 team," to $2.6B (FORBES, 4/17).

The Top 10 Most Valuable Football Teams
Rank Club Country
Current Value
Revenues
1. Real Madrid
Spain
$3.3B
$650M
2.
ManU
England
$3.17B
$502M
3. Barcelona
Spain
$2.6B $613M
4. Arsenal
England
$1.33B
$368M
5.
Bayern Munich
Germany
$1.31B
$468M
6. AC Milan
Italy
$945M
$326M
7.
Chelsea
England
$901M
$409M
8. Juventus
Italy
$694M
$248M
9.
Man City England
$689M
$362M
10.
Liverpool
England
$651M
$296M
Source: Forbes

Polish First Division side LKS Lodz "has declared itself bankrupt and unable to pay money owed to former players and coaches." The club has been "stripped of its license" to play in the First Division and will now "be forced to play two divisions lower in the fourth division" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL 4/17). ... Nigeria's Boxing Board of Control has "appealed to the government to grant adequate tax rebates for corporate organizations that sponsor professional boxing in the country" (XINHUA, 4/17).