• Premier League

Munich leapfrog United in brand battle

ESPN staff
May 30, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Bayern's Champions League triumph has helped the club usurp United as the world's most valuable football brand © PA Photos
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Champions League winners Bayern Munich have overtaken Manchester United as the world's most valuable football brand, according to a leading agency.

The German giants have moved ahead of their Premier League rivals after Brand Finance, a brand valuation company, rated the worth of the Bundesliga champions' brand at $US860 million (£570 million).

Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona were third and fourth, followed by Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. Milan are the highest placed Italian team, rounding out the top 10.

Despite Bayern usurping United as the top club, Brand Finance have maintained the Premier League's status as No. 1 in brand value terms, with the combined might of England's top tier clubs raking in an estimated $US3.1 billion (£2 billion).

The Bundesliga ranked second with a combined worth of $US1.9 billion (£1.3 billion).

Chief executive of Brand Finance, David Haigh, said Bayern's dominance and the emergence of the Bundesliga as a major force was down to a number of factors, but believed Germany's adventurous style of play and club management factored heavily.

"The commercial transformation of the English game, which has created hugely successful global brands, had been seen as the model to emulate," he said.

"However the escalation of player wages, poor financial management and alienation of grass roots fans has left many people jaded.

"In contrast the cheap tickets, high attendances, democratic ownership structure and financial prudence of the Bundesliga now looks like an attractive alternative, particularly now it is delivering world-beating, fluid football rather than the more workmanlike style German teams had been known for."

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