Manchester City have more financial muscle than any other club in world football according to a new financial index, with Premier League clubs dominating the top 10.
The Soccerex Football Finance 100 ranks clubs using five variables: playing assets, fixed assets, money in the bank, potential owner investment and net debt.
Manchester City topped the rankings with a Football Finance Index score of 4.883, with Arsenal in third (4.559) – unexpectedly ahead of third-placed Paris Saint-Germain (4.128), who smashed the world transfer record to sign Brazilian superstar Neymar in August.
There are five Premier League clubs in the top 10, with Tottenham Hotspur (2.591) in fifth, Manchester United in seventh (2.314) and Chelsea in ninth (2.093).
Reflecting China’s growing significance in the global market and huge investment into football, Guangzhou Evergrande (3.423) are fourth while La Liga’s only representative in the top 10 is Real Madrid in sixth (2.579).
“This study highlights how the global football landscape has shifted over the past two decades,” said Soccerex's David Wright.
“We wanted to create a study that provided a broader evaluation of football finances, one that reflected the modern reality of football, impacted by increased owner investment and the need for better financial management.
“By looking at factors like asset value, debt levels and, crucially, the amount the owner or ownership group could invest in the context of their direct environment, the report evaluates both the financial standing of each club and the economic potential they have in the market.”
The study underlines the impact of increased investor interest from billionaires and escalating broadcast revenue.
Manchester City ranking comes after Abu Dhabi-based multi-billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan injected over €650million into the squad and infrastructure.
Arsenal’s position is explained by Soccerex as the result of a sound business model which sees them near the top in four of the five key variables, while also having relatively low net debt.
The study says: “This position of financial strength means Arsenal could invest significantly should the hierarchy at the club choose to change their business strategy.”
Football Finance 100: Top 20
1. Manchester City
4. Guangzho Evergrande
5. Tottenham Hotspur
6. Real Madrid
7. Manchester United
10. Bayern Munich
11. Zenit St Petersburg
12. RB Leipzig
14. LA Galaxy
15. Atletico Madrid
17. Borussia Dortmund
18. Olympique Lyonnais
20. Leicester City
To see the full rankings and analysis, click here.
First published www.sportsmanagement.co.uk by Rob Gibson 04 Jan 2018.