Barcelona have leapfrogged Spanish rivals Real Madrid to become the world's most valuable soccer club with a valuation of $4.76 billion, according to a list published by business magazine Forbes here on Monday.
Real Madrid, who have topped the list five times in the past, edged Barcelona 2-1 in 'El Clasico' on Saturday but find themselves second best off the pitch with a valuation of $4.75 billion.
Forbes said the average worth of the top 20 clubs has increased by 30% from two years ago to $2.28 billion despite the Covid-19 pandemic impacting matchday revenue, which fell to $441 million last season -- down 9.6% from 2017-18.
"The pain is far from over, with a worsening decline in matchday revenue during the current season, as most of the teams in Europe's top leagues still permit few fans to attend games," wrote Forbes' assistant managing editor Mike Ozanian.
European champions Bayern Munich ($4.215 billion) are third on the list while the Premier League's 'Big Six' -- Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur -- are in the top 10.
French champions and last year's Champions League runners-up Paris St Germain moved up to ninth after being valued at $2.5 billion with a 129% increase in two years -- the biggest increase among the top 10 clubs.
According to Forbes, the world's 20 most valuable soccer teams are worth an average of $2.28 billion apiece, an increase of 30% from two years ago, the last time we published the ranking. The jump comes despite a decline in revenue caused by limited attendance during the pandemic, with buyers focused on what they see as still untapped revenue potential in the sport's massive global following.
Average revenue for the 20 teams was $441 million for the 2019-20 season, down 9.6% from 2017-18, while average operating income fell by 70% over the period to $23 million. The pain is far from over, with a worsening decline in match-day revenue during the current season as most of the teams in Europe's top leagues still permit few fans to attend games.