Barcelona close to taking top spot as world’s most valuable football brand

COVID-19 has caused a €751 million overall brand devaluation of the world's top 50 football clubs.

boys playing football in the street

Real Madrid CF continues to be the most valuable football brand in the world but FC Barcelona has narrowed the gap between the two teams to just €6 million.

COVID-19 has caused a devaluation of €751 million of the total brand value of the world’s top 50 football clubs – the first time the value has decreased in six years. This figure represents a decrease of 3.7% in the total brand value, according to the Brand Finance Football Annual 2020 ranking.

Real Madrid remains the most valuable football brand for 2020, having received a boost by winning the La Liga title for the first time since 2017. However, due to the current economic situation caused by the pandemic, the club’s brand value has declined by 14% to €1,419 million.

Barcelona is supported by strong and diverse revenue generation, as well as being boosted by continued success in the domestic leagues, meaning it is fast closing in on Real Madrid’s position as the most valuable football brand.

Despite the impact the pandemic has had on football clubs, many of the larger clubs have secured the majority of their brand value through their long term futures, so long as they can get through the initial financial shock. For example, only 21% of Real Madrid’s brand value is delivered by the financial results of the next five years.

The majority of the top spots in the Brand Finance Football Annual 2020 ranking, after Real Madrid and Barcelona, are held by English Premier League clubs, such as Manchester United, Liverpool, and Manchester City. Despite this, some other Premier League clubs have been hit by a sizeable drop in their brand value – for example, Bournemouth, which has experienced a brand value decrease of 31%.

Bayern Munich holds the sixth position in the brand value ranking, despite having a brand value 20% lower than a year ago. The dwindling number of clubs from Germany, Italy and France in the top 20 shows the dominance and the global reach of the English Premier League and La Liga.

Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of football brands and, despite the economic situation, club brand strengths have remained impressive, with more than half of the top 50 growing over the past year.

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