The study uses a Football Finance Index (FFI) score which factors in five variables - playing assets, fixed assets, money in the bank, potential owner investment and net debt - and evaluates and ranks the world's top 100 clubs based on their finances. City's place at the top of the table is scarcely surprising, given the €650m injected by the club's Abu Dhabi owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan plus the huge Premier League broadcast deals.
And the UK dominates the upper echelons of the rankings, with five teams in the top ten, and 12 teams in the top 50. Arsenal are placed third (because of their "sound business model" ie not racking up monster levels of debt), while Tottenham Hotspur are fifth, Manchester United seventh, and Chelsea ninth.
The way the rankings are calculated does work against the Spanish and German clubs, whose member ownership models means they tend not to have wealthy backers. So mighty outfits such as as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund all score highly for the value of their squads but are ranked at zero for ‘owner potential investment’. Soccerex acknowledges that should Real Madrid be capitalised via the stock markets, its overall financial power would make them worth more than any tycoon’s club.
Download the full Soccerex report from our Evidence & Data section.