- Real Madrid remains the most valuable football brand in the world, but Barcelona reduces the gap to just € 6 million
- COVID-19 decreases the total brand value of the 50 best clubs for the first time in 6 years – 751 million euros or 3.7% is eliminated
- British clubs dominate the rankings with six brands in the top 10 and 19 in the top 50
- Liverpool score two points up to 4th place, after the historic Premier League victory
- Bundesliga 1. FC Köln is the fastest growing brand this year, followed by Leicester City and RB Leipzig, recording growth of over 40%
- The new stadium in Tottenham Hotspur occupies first place in the performance rankings of Buro Happold’s club
real Madrid they remain the most valuable football club brand in the world for 2020, according to the latest edition of the Brand Finance Football Annual. Empowered by winning the LaLiga title for the first time since 2017, the club has maintained its position at the top of the sector in the football industry, but in a context of economic and social turmoil, caused mainly by the COVID-19 pandemic, Real Madrid on brand value decreased by 14% to 1,419 million euros.
Real Madrid’s disappointing performance before 2019-20, which saw an early exit from the UEFA Champions League in 2018-19 and a second consecutive season drifting away from LaLiga Barcelona champions, eroded dominance of the club on the Brand Finance rankings. The situation has been exacerbated by COVID-19, along with a lack of stability in team management. BarcelonaReal Madrid’s fierce rivals are only € 6 million less than Real with a brand value of € 1,413 million, supported by a strong and diversified revenue generation and by the continuous domestic trend in Spain.
COVID-19 detaches € 751 million of brand value
Real Madrid isn’t the only club to see a drop in brand value this year. COVID-19 has decreased the total value of the top 50 football brands for the first time in 6 years. Thanks to its effects on the three main revenue streams – Matchday, Broadcasting and Commercial – € 751 million, equal to 3.7%, have been eliminated from the cumulative brand value of the 50 best football clubs in the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged professional football worldwide and at all levels. The day’s income for the 501 games left in the 5 major leagues has dropped to zero, but smaller clubs and leagues often rely more on this revenue stream – in Scotland it represents 43% of total revenue, compared to just 13% in England.
There have been some positive signs, as Southampton vs Manchester City on the BBC broke the Premier League TV audience record with 5.7 million viewers, butlong-term damage to the economic structure of the game has yet to be revealed.
Richard Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:
“High level football has faced the greatest existential threat since the Second World War. The loss of income, coupled with the health concerns of the mass gatherings, raised question marks about the future of the industry and the financial resilience of clubs at all levels. The complete damage of the COVID-19 crisis has yet to unfold and it is not inconceivable that there will be victims in the form of club failures and changes of ownership. “
Despite the huge implications of COVID-19 for football clubs and their financial results, most of the brand value is guaranteed by the long-term future of the clubs, provided they can survive the initial shock. For example, only 21% of the value of the Real Madrid brand is provided by the financial results of the next five years.
Real Madrid and Barcelona are followed by a group of English Premier League clubs in the Brand Finance Football Annual 2020 ranking, with Manchester United in 3rd the position after the brand value fell by 11% to 1,314 million euros. Liverpool, who have won their first league title since 1990 in fugitive style, are 4th point by jumping over Manchester City in terms of brand value, from € 1,191 million in 2019 to € 1,262 million, an increase of 6%. Chelsea dropped a seat on the table at 8th after their value fell for the fourth consecutive year to € 949 million. This is probably due to the fact that the club is absent from the UEFA Champions League and has also undergone a transfer ban after being accused of breaking the Financial Fair Play Rules.