When you think of world team sports there are few ways that you are able to rank teams. You develop some hyper-complicated formula to work it out. There’s not a massive chance that people will take any notice of that though. Another novel idea might be to rank teams in terms of how hardcore their fans are. Not many people would have even heard of Millwall or West Ham at the top of that list though. Somewhat regrettably, it all comes back to that parameter that makes the world go round – money.
Similar to their Billionaires list, Forbes has produced the world’s most valuable sports teams and sitting atop the pedestal is the cream of Britain’s crop – Manchester United. With a value of $1.86billion they dwarf any other team in soccer by almost half a billion and are likely to continue to grow. Looking at the top ten, you immediately notice that save for one team North Americans own them all. Fifth placed Real Madrid buck this trend as they’re owned by socios (club members).
The sport that dominates the entire top 50 is one that has the most uncertain year ahead – the NFL. Six of the top ten are from the league and the 50 include all 32 of the league’s teams. It again shows why the lockout continuing will have a disastrous effect.
In the future the balance may shift further to rich owners from the Gulf, for now though it’s easy to see that the power is well and truly staying in the West.
Top ten (owner in brackets)
Manchester United (Glazer family) – $1.86billion
Dallas Cowboys (Jerry Jones) – $1.81bn
New York Yankees (Steinbrenner family) – $1.7bn
Washington Redskins (Dan Snyder) $1.55bn
Real Madrid (club members) – $1.45bn
New England Patriots (Robert Kraft) – $1.37bn
Arsenal (Stan Kroenke) – $1.19bn
New York Giants (John Mara and Steven Tisch) – $1.18bn
Houston Texans (Robert McNair) – $1.17bn
New York Jets (Robert Wood Johnson) – $1.14bn