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Top 10 football clubs: Football stocks to watch

By Rob Griffin

Edited by Vanessa Kintu

17:32, 16 December 2022

Football players on the pitch
Total revenue from the highest earning clubs has increased seven-fold in the past 25 years. - Photo: Shutterstock

They are among the giants of world football, hugely successful clubs with dedicated supporters, packed trophy cabinets and rich histories. But, have their successes on the pitch been mirrored in the boardroom? Which of these publicly traded football clubs have thrilled investors, and which have left them out of pocket?

Here we take a look at the top 10 football clubs by market capitalisation and highlight some of the football clubs stocks to watch.

We examine the performance of football club shares over the past year, outlining what might be expected from publicly listed football clubs in 2023. 

Overview

Football is big business. Millions of fans pack out stadiums around the world, while popular clubs sell every conceivable type of merchandise. 

The total revenue generated by the highest earning clubs has grown more than seven-fold in the past 25 years, according to professional services firm Deloitte. Its Football Money League 2022 report reveals that money has rocketed from a relatively modest €1.1bn ($1.16bn) in the 1996/7 season to a remarkable €8.2bn in 2020/21. 

This trend isn’t expected to end any time soon, with Deloitte having predicted another uptick in income, including for football clubs that are publicly traded:

“We expect revenue of Money League clubs to reach record levels, as they bounce back from the effects of the pandemic and push towards collective revenues of €10bn.”

However, there have been some changes over the past year. Back in 2019/20, FC Barcelona was top of the revenue pile with €713.4m, followed by Real Madrid (€691.8m), Bayern Munich (€634.1m), Manchester United (€580.4m) and Liverpool (€558.6m).

However, the 2020/21 season saw Manchester City top the list with €644.9m, Real Madrid maintained second spot (€640.7m), Bayern Munich was third ( €611.4m), FC Barcelona was down to fourth (€582.1m) and Manchester United was fifth (€558m).

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Top 10 football clubs: Who are the quoted giants?

The good news for fans of the sport is that there are football stocks to invest in, although most die-hard fans wouldn’t consider buying shares in clubs they didn’t support.

The top 10 football clubs by market capitalisation feature four from Portugal, two from Italy, and one each from the UK, Germany, France and Denmark, according to CompaniesMarketCap.

RankNameTickerMarket capCountry
1Manchester UnitedMANU$3.52bnUK
2Juventus TurinJUVE$0.74bnItaly
3Borussia DortmundBVB$0.42bnGermany
4Olympique Lyonnais GroupeOLG$0.17bnFrance
5Parken Sport (FC Copenhagen)PARKEN$0.10bnDenmark

So, what are the publicly traded top football clubs around the world that people can invest in? We start our list by looking at the five largest football stocks, give an insight into their histories, and consider football clubs stocks to watch over the coming months.

Manchester United (MANU)

Manchester United has a truly global fanbase. Star players, such as George Best and David Beckham, became household names by virtue of their performances on the pitch.

The club has been crowned UEFA Champions League champion (previously the European Cup) on three occasions. This is the ultimate club competition in European football. It has also picked up a record 13 Premier League titles, along with seven First Division championships, 12 FA Cups, and five League Cups.

Since the start of this year, the stock price has risen 47%, as of 14 December.

Juventus Turin (JUVE)

Juventus is one of the biggest names in Italian football. Known by a variety of nicknames, including Juve and ‘the old lady’. It has won 70 titles on national and international stages. This list includes 14 Coppa Italias, 36 official league titles and nine Supercoppa Italianas.

International honours include two European Champion Clubs, two Intercontinental Cups, three UEFA Cups, one European Cup Winners, two UEFA Super Cups and one UEFA Intertoto Cup. 

Since the start of this year, the JUVE stock price has fallen 23% year-to-date (YTD).

Borussia Dortmund (BVB)

The German team was founded in December 1909 and plays in the Bundesliga, the country’s top tier football league. Its list of honours include being eight-times Bundesliga champions, as well as having won the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup Winners Cups.

The club had the biggest average matchday attendances in Germany during the 2021/22 season of 41,800, according to Statista.

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YTD, its stock price has fallen 19% in 2022.

Olympique Lyonnais Groupe (OLG)

The French company is organised around Olympique Lyonnais, the Lyon-based football club founded in 1950.

The club plays in Ligue 1, the top league in French football, and has won this championship on seven occasions, as well as being runners up a further five times. Other honours include the Coupe de France and the UEFA Intertoto Cup. It has reached the semi-finals of both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

OLG.PA stock price has risen 44% YTD.

Parken Sport (FC Copenhagen) (PARKEN)

FC Copenhagen was founded in 1992, a very special year for Denmark, as the country clinched the European Championship after beating Germany 2-0 in the final.

The club, which can trace its roots back to the 1800s, has picked up numerous honours over the years, including 14 Danish Superleague titles. It has won the Danish cup eight times. 

FC Copenhagen’s original ambitions included being in the top three of the league, building a local fanbase, and playing attractive, positive football.

Sof far this year, its stock price has fallen 9.6%. 

Let’s now take a look at the remaining football clubs stocks on the list. These include football clubs you can buy shares in from Portugal and Spain.

RankCompanyTickerMarket capCountry
6Sport Lisboa e BenficaSLBEN$95.5mPortugal
7SS LazioSSL$74.51mItaly
8Sporting Clube de PortugalSCP$56.81mPortugal
9Sporting Clube de BragaSCB$26.78mPortugal
10FC PortoFCP$21.04mPortugal

Sport Lisboa e Benfica (SLBEN)

This Portuguese club, more commonly known as Benfica, has won a host of national and international titles since being founded in the early 1900s. Its stock price has fallen 17% in 2022.

SS Lazio (SSL)

The Italian giant is based in Rome, Italy, and shares the Stadio Olimpico with fellow Serie A rivals AS Roma. As with every other club on this list, it has racked up plenty of titles down the years. Since the start of this year, the stock price has fallen 2.8%.

Sporting Clube de Portugal (SCP)

The second team on the list from Portugal is commonly known as Sporting Lisbon. It was founded back in 1906. It’s one of the most decorated clubs in the country. So far in 2022, its stock price has fallen 13%.

Sporting Clube de Braga (SCB)

Sporting Clube de Braga is another team from Portugal. It was founded in 1921. It has won three Portuguese cups. The SCB.LS stock price has risen 162.5% YTD.

FC Porto (FCP)

The final Portuguese club on our top 10 list is FC Porto. Its list of honours includes winning the UEFA Champions League and Europa League titles twice. Since the start of this year, the stock price has risen 14%.

Final thoughts

Few things are more fulfilling as a football fan than holding shares in a club that you love – almost irrespective of its performance on the stock market. However, prospective investors must be prepared for a very rocky ride – the most successful teams one year could be easily beaten the next.

When  investing in football stocks, you should carry out thorough research. You should always conduct your own due diligence. Look at the latest news, technical analysis, and a wide range of analysts’ opinions before making any trading decision. 

Keep in mind that past performance is no guarantee of future returns. And never trade money that you cannot afford to lose.

FAQs

How many football clubs are on the stock market?

There are around 15 clubs in which investors can buy shares. Most of these football stocks

are quoted on prominent UK and European stock markets, while some can only be found on specialist exchanges. The quoted names include some of the most prominent clubs in world football.

Which is the richest football club in the world?

This all depends on what metric you use. For example, Manchester City was the highest revenue generating club in 2020/21 with €644.9m. However, local rivals Manchester United is the largest quoted club by market capitalisation of $3.43bn.

Is it worth investing in football clubs?

This will depend on your view of the sport – and the viability of investing. The biggest clubs spend billions of pounds every year on footballing talent, yet it’s a notoriously volatile industry where success on the pitch isn’t guaranteed. For many investors it’s a passion rather than a money maker. Always conduct your own due diligence before making any investment decision. And never invest or trade money you cannot afford to lose.

Markets in this article

BVB
Borussia Dortmund
3.727 USD
-0.035 -0.940%
JUVE
Juventus FC
2.496 USD
0.052 +2.140%
MANU
Manchester United
16.74 USD
0.07 +0.420%

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