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Man United named most valuable club by Forbes as Real Madrid fall to third

Manchester United have been named the world’s most valuable football club by Forbes for the first time in five years.

United were valued at $3.69 billion by the American business magazine, ahead of Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Barcelona are valued at $3.64 billion while Real Madrid, ranked first in the list for the past four years, fell to third with a value of $3.58 billion.

Bayern Munich ($2.71 billion) and Manchester City ($2.08 billion) also made the top five. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Juventus and Tottenham make up the rest of the top 10.

Mike Ozanian, assistant managing editor at Forbes Media, said: “Manchester United’s return to the top spot is a testament to their powerful brand and marketing acumen.”

United generated revenues of $765 million during the 2015-16 season, according to Forbes, $77 million more than both Barcelona and Madrid.

They are also the most profitable club, posting operating income of $288 million — $107 million more than second-placed Madrid.

Last week, United were named Europe’s most valuable football club following a report by auditors KPMG, which valued the club at €3.004 billion ($3.39 billion).

United, who won the EFL Cup and Europa League last season but finished sixth in the Premier League, announced in May projected full-year revenues of between £560 million and £570 million ($722 million and $731 million) and expected profits that could surpass their current record of £191.9 million ($247.5 million).

They currently have 26 global sponsorship deals, including with Adidas, Chevrolet, 20th Century Fox and Uber, as well as 10 regional sponsorship deals and 28 other media and financial sponsors.

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