Manchester City tops football financial firepower list

Premier League leaders Manchester City have more financial firepower than any other club in world football, according to a new ranking.

Event organiser Soccerex, which compiled the list, says the club has the biggest economic growth potential.

UK clubs dominate the top ten spots with Arsenal ranked second, Tottenham Hotspur fifth, Manchester United seventh and Chelsea in ninth position.

The list is based on five factors including potential owner investment.

Manchester City is owned by multi-billionaire Sheikh Mansour, a member of Abu Dhabi's ruling Al-Nahyan family, who has invested heavily in the team since he took it over almost a decade ago.

The club spent £215m on player transfers over the summer, which was the biggest by any English club in any transfer window.

The Soccerex Football Finance 100 also takes into account the value of clubs' players, their fixed assets such as stadiums and training grounds, the amount of money they have in the bank as well as net debt.

Soccerex said this methodology explained why Arsenal was ranked above Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), which paid a record €222m (£200m) to sign Brazilian superstar Neymar last summer.

It said Arsenal's "sound business model" had enabled it to pip PSG, despite a perceived lack of spending in the transfer market.

The study said this meant that Arsenal had the potential to "invest significantly" should it change its strategy.

Similarly, Chelsea was ranked ninth despite owner Roman Abramovich's heavy investment. Soccerex said this was because Mr Abramovich's investment was listed as a loan, giving the club a large net debt.

The Soccerex top ten rankings

1. Manchester City

2. Arsenal

3. PSG

4. Guangzhou Evergrande

5. Tottenham

6. Real Madrid

7. Manchester United

8. Juventus

9. Chelsea

10. Bayern Munich

The ranking also reflects China's growing significance in the global football market, with the country's Guangzhou Evergrande coming above stalwarts such as Spain's Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The study said that Real Madrid and Barcelona's rankings were hit by their membership owner structures and the lack of potential owner investment.

Nine of the Chinese Super League clubs are ranked in the top 100 clubs, more than France, Germany and Italy.

Soccerex marketing director David Wright said the aim of the study was to highlight how the "global football landscape has shifted over the past two decades".

"We wanted to create a broader evaluation of football finances, one that reflected the modern reality of football," he added.

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