The most valuable soccer team of 2013 | Real Madrid


A loyal soccer fan will claim their team’s dominance in the face of every statistic and every shred of logic. Today, Real Madrid fans can point to at least one way in which their team is objectively superior to all others. They make more money.

Forbes just released its list of the world’s highest grossing soccer clubs. For the first time, Real Madrid outscored Manchester United in income. The team had to nearly double their earnings in order to smoke the competition. And the numbers are staggering. Real Madrid is worth $3.3 billion, with Manchester United at $3.17 billion. The third and fourth places positions belong to Barcelona and Arsenal.
As it happens, IFX does offer the opportunity to live, learn and play soccer in this amazing environment with our Real Madrid soccer camps, as well as the other 3 soccer teams in Forbes Top 4.

But back to the topic at hand: so where does all of this money come from? Well, mostly television. Then there’s a significant amount in licensing deals, some pricey premiere seats. Then the obvious stuff: merchandise and concessions. All of this together adds up to a pretty whopping paycheck.

To put this in perspective for our American readership, the highest grossing NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys at $2.1 billion. European soccer clubs can earn far different amounts than one another because the deals they broker with television stations are negotiated independently. This differs from the NFL, where money is split among teams more evenly.
To a significant degree, this means that the income of a team is tied to their success. Winning tournaments results in better television deals and more income annually. This is why teams are willing to take on enormous amounts of debt–hundreds of millions of dollars. The feeling is that if they can outspend other teams, they can eventually start beating them on the pitch. And eventually, they’ll make the money back.

Given Spain’s current economic meltdown, Real Madrid’s financial accomplishment is particularly impressive. Superstar players like Cristiano Ronaldo have proven that they can keep fans coming back, even when times are tough. And he’s not lightly rewarded for doing so: Ronaldo is the second highest paid player, just behind David Beckham.

So whether you’re a Real Madrid supporter or not, what do you think of their staggering financial accomplishment?

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