The Football Benchmark report, which ranks Europe’s 32 most prominent clubs on their value based on their annual financial statements and assessing squad values, put Real top with a valuation of 3.184 billion euros ($3.4 billion).
Real, who face Liverpool in Saturday’s Champions League final, came out on top for the fourth consecutive year of the report.
That is still short of their valuation in 2020, just before the pandemic, of nearly 3.5 billion euros, although the report points out that they were one of few clubs to register a net profit in both seasons impacted by the pandemic.
In a separate study, Forbes also ranked Real top but with a valuation of $5.1 billion.
“Real Madrid have extended their lead at the top due to continuous sporting and commercial success,” said the Football Benchmark report’s author, Andrea Sartori.
It said Real lost 84 million euros due to the absence of matchday revenues with supporters shut out due to the pandemic.
However, Real “made the made the most of the restrictions…accelerating works on the Bernabeu. It will be ready at the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023 and will certainly give them a massive revenue boost and potentially a competitive advantage”.
Manchester United (2.9 billion euros) and Barcelona (2.8 billion euros) rounded out the podium, with Bayern Munich fourth and Liverpool fifth (2.556 billion euros).
Of the 32 most valuable clubs in the Football Benchmark study, only four (Ajax, Galatasaray, Porto and Benfica) are from outwith the big five European leagues of England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France.
Ten of the top 32 are English, at a time when Premier League sides are dominating in Europe.
“What is pushing English clubs towards increased continental glory is their success on the financial side,” the report acknowledges.
“The Premier League’s aggregate operating revenues of 5.1 billion euros put them comfortably at the top,” while “what really sets them apart are highly remunerative broadcasting agreements”.
Paris Saint-Germain boast the highest overall growth in value over the seven years since the first Football Benchmark report, up 153 percent to now more than two billion euros.
Above all, the report added, football is showing signs that the downturn caused by Covid is over.
“Last year’s financial results still bear the negative impacts of COVID-19, while the past several months reflect solid signs of football returning to normal, most notably with crowds back in stadia and with continued robust demand from sponsors and investors.”
The Forbes report put Barcelona second to Real with a valuation of $5.1 billion and Manchester United third with $4.6 billion.
Forbes ranked Real’s Champions League final opponents Liverpool fourth with a valuation of $4.45 billion.
Forbes explained that its team valuations were “enterprise values (equity plus net debt) and include the economics of the team’s stadium (but exclude the value of the real estate itself), based on comparable transactions”.