Manchester City have overtaken Manchester United as the Premier League’s most valuable club, with higher wages and lower profits hurting the Old Trafford powerhouse, according to a football finance survey published on Friday.
Premier League champions City are valued at £2.364 billion in 2017/18, up £385 million, according to the study by the University of Liverpool’s Centre for Sports Business, while United are valued at £2.087 billion, down £376 million.
The report said United still had the highest revenue of any club in the Premier League but increased costs meant they relinquished top spot in the valuation table.
The pair are the only two Premier League clubs valued at more than £2 billion.
“Manchester City’s value increased in 2018 due to a combination of higher revenue and lower wages,” the Liverpool University report said.
“The ownership model of Sheikh Mansour which effectively means that the club is debt-free means that there are no loan interest costs and no dividends are paid to shareholders either.
“Critics of Manchester City will point out that it is part of a multi-club ownership model and that there are commercial deals with related parties which might not apply should the club be sold and therefore a prospective owner might not be willing to pay this value.”
The value of Premier League clubs decreased by 1.6 percent overall to £14.7 billion, with the ‘Big Six’ of United, City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs making up £10.9 billion – 74 percent of the total.
The gap between the bottom club in the Big Six and the next highest valuation is now nearly £1 billion.
Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs show major increases, and Arsenal and Leicester show large falls due to non-participation in the Champions League.
The report’s model takes into consideration revenue, profits, non-recurring costs, average profits on player sales over a three-year period, net assets, wage control and proportion of seats sold.
United came third behind Real Madrid and Barcelona in Deloitte’s list of the world’s richest clubs published in January, which ranks clubs according to how much revenue they earn.