Dallas Cowboys displace Real Madrid as world’s richest club with $4bn

Real Madrid for the first time in three years, has slipped to second spot as National Football League (NFL) team, the Dallas Cowboys now become the world’s richest team according to Forbes.

The La Liga giants could not top the Forbes World’s Most Valuable Sports Team List for the first time since 2011, losing the title to the professional American football team located in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.

The Cowboys moved up one place with an estimated value of $4bn (£3.02bn), from $3.2bn (£2.4bn) last year, with Real – top of the list for the last three years – in second position, despite their value rising by almost 12.5 per cent to $3.65bn (£2.75bn).

FC Barcelona is up one spot to third at $3.55bn (£2.68bn), Manchester United – ranked first in 2011 and 2012 –  stay fifth at $3.32bn (£2.5bn), and NFL team the San Francisco 49ers at $2.7bn (£2.04bn) rise 22 places to take 10th spot.

The average current value of the top 50 most valuable teams is $2.2 billion (£1.66bn), which is the highest to date and a 25 per cent increase from last year. Cost of admission to the 2016 list is also the highest ever at $1.48bn (£1.12bn), up from $1.15bn a year ago.

Major League Baseball team, the New York Yankees at $3.4bn (£2.56bn) and basketball franchise, the New York Knicks at $3bn (£2.26bn) are the only non-soccer and non-NFL teams in the top 10.

NFL teams represent half of the top ten most valuable sports teams in the world, driven by lucrative broadcasting contracts. There are also a total of 27 NFL teams in the top 50, with eight soccer teams and the same number of NBA franchises. No ice hockey, Formula 1 or Nascar teams made the cut.