Beware the Spanish inquisition: Manchester United slip to third in Forbes rich list as Real stay top

Manchester United continued the city’s week of financial football woe as they slipped behind Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona off the pitch in the Forbes rich list – after their value sunk by 11 per cent in the last year.

The Red Devils have also lost ground on the dymanic duo on the pitch this season and now trail them in the money stakes as two Spanish clubs topped the list for the first time since it was first produced a decade ago.

The findings come just days after noisy neighbours City flunked UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) test.

Real, who take on city rivals Atletico in the Champions League Final on May 24, led the way with a £2billion valuation, narrowly ahead of arch-enemies Barcelona who are valued at £1.9bn.

United followed on £1.65bn ahead of Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich (£1.1bn) and Premier League trio Arsenal (£767m), Chelsea (£511m) and Manchester City (£508m) – whose value rose 25 per cent.

The report, compiled by American firm Forbes, indicated that United, taken over in controversial style by US sports tycoon Malcolm Glazer in 2005, have a debt level of 19% of their £363million turnover.

Outgoing Premier League champions United have paid the price for languishing in seventh spot in the Premier League and failed to maximise the increased money pot up for grabs in the Champions League with a quarter-final exit to Bayern Munich.

However, their matchday income of £448m is almost seven times mega-rich City’s £66.6m total, while their broadcasting (£417m to £149.1m) and commercial (£556.5m to £214.6m) outcomes also rule the roost to make them Manchester cash kings.

Meanwhile, French Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint Germain have been handed a £20m fine for falling foul of UEFA’s FFP rules – almost £30m less than City’s reported sanction for the same offence.

The oil rich Parisians are at number 15 on the Forbes list.

Main image courtesy of Jason Cairnduff/Action Images, with thanks.

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