How much is the football industry worth?

When it comes to records, football by far leads the way in many respects. It is the most popular sport among those who like to place bets online. Whether it’s at the club level, the international level, or even esports, If you are a fan of football yourself, you may find that some of the jargon and numbers can be confusing.

For example, what odds are you looking for – there are three ways of defining odds. There is an easy way to convert sports betting odds – fractional, decimal, American – so that you know exactly what the odds are. Although there are no strict figures on how many fans there are of the sport globally, it’s estimated to be at the 4 billion mark, over double that of cricket, which finds itself in second place.

FC United Football theme website

If this number stands to be corrected, that means over half of the globAl population follows the sport, as the world population stands just short of 8 billion as of writing this. And so, with so much interest and passion for football as a sport, this then translates itself into a very lucrative industry for businesses, players, and owners and sponsors. Today we’re going to have a look at just how much the global industry is worth. This will cover areas such as sponsorship, the highest-paid players, and, of course, the most valuable clubs in the world.

The most valuable clubs

Some of the biggest clubs in the sport are worth billions of dollars. This revenue is generated through mediums such as merchandise, ticket sales, TV rights, and much more. Having just won their 15th UEFA Champions League, Spanish giants Real Madrid are ranked as the most valuable, worth more than $6 billion and just beating United to the title. To put this in perspective, this is bigger than most modern tech businesses. By themselves, they generated around $850 million in revenue. However, the ownership structure is slightly different, as it is collectively owned by the fans. The most valuable privately owned club is Manchester United, which is owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and a consortium and valued at $6.55 billion.

Highest paid players

Of course, with the industry being so lucrative, it’s no surprise that some of the highest-paid sports stars on the planet are indeed footballers. Some of the top clubs will pay tens of millions each year to capture the top talent so that they can then generate revenue through shirt sales and also boost their chances of lifting trophies and boosting the team’s following. One of the best players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, currently plays for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia and is earning around £173 million a year. Fellow Ballon d’Or winner Messi also earns around £55 million a year.

Sponsorship is big business.

With so many eyes watching football around the globe, it’s no surprise that some of the biggest companies and brands in the world pay a lot of money to have their logos appear on some of the biggest clubs football kits. Manchester City is one such club that receives a lot of money in revenue from sponsorship deals. For example, Nike pays $18 million approximately each season alone to have them design the kits. A lot of the other sponsors of the club also come from the Middle East, where the owners of the club are from.

The biggest fixtures in the sport

The good thing about football and what makes it so big and lucrative is that there are passionate fans following clubs from all levels. From local clubs all the way up to some of the biggest clubs in the sport. And there are some fixtures that attract billions of people from around the world to their screens. Earning the club millions in TV revenue. A lot of the World Cup finals rank up there as being the most watched, the most recent being back in 2022 when Argentina played France. And there were an estimated 1.5 billion people watching that final alone. And of course, this was the tournament where Messi picked up his first World Cup.

In Summary

If you didn’t know how big and lucrative the football industry was worldwide, hopefully this has put it in perspective. The sport that has been played for centuries now has risen to become the most popular sport in the world, being watched by nearly 50% of the planet. And some of the numbers that we have run through today and others that are available through research are sometimes quite difficult to comprehend and get your head around.