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Sport Man Utd fall behind Bayern Munich but stay ahead of Liverpool on football's rich list

01:15  13 april  2021
01:15  13 april  2021 Source:   express.co.uk

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Manchester United are now the world's fourth most valuable football club after swapping places with German heavyweights Bayern Munich, who have stolen third spot from the Red Devils. Spanish giants Barcelona sit at the top of the tree, narrowly pipping bitter rivals Real Madrid, who took all three points in Saturday's El Clasico at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

United, like many other elite clubs across Europe, have struggled to cope with the financial effects of the ongoing pandemic, with COVID-19 continuing to wreak havoc on the professional game.

The Red Devils previously reported a £70million drop in expected revenue in the period to June 20 as a direct result of the crisis, and it was announced last month that the club had borrowed around £60m to aid their recovery.

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Despite their troubles, United have surrendered just one place on the Forbes list of the 20 most valuable clubs in world football.

The 20-time Premier League champions are said to be worth around £3.06billion, but the figure is not enough to warrant a place in the list's top three.

Barcelona (£3.46bn) occupy first place despite the Catalan club's ongoing financial woes, squeezing ahead of Real Madrid (£3.45bn) at the top of the pile.

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Dave Woodward et al. posing for the camera: Woodward's United have dropped to fourth on the list © GETTY Woodward's United have dropped to fourth on the list

Liverpool (£2.98bn) have seen an 88 per cent rise in value over the last two years after winning Champions League and Premier League titles, but only sit fifth in the leaderboard ahead of Manchester City (£2.91bn), Chelsea (£2.33bn) and Arsenal (£2.04bn).

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Meanwhile, Everton (£479m) and West Ham (£369m) are joined in the top 20 by Leicester City (£331m), who are making their first appearance on the list.

United chairman Ed Woodward recently spoke of his club's struggles in having to deal with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, stressing that the current period has been the most challenging in their history.

However, the 49-year-old claimed that he is confident of rapid improvement both on and off the pitch under the current setup, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer helping the Red Devils to challenge for silverware once again this season.

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"As we approach a full year since our last game with fans at Old Trafford, we reflect on an extraordinarily challenging 12 months for football and society as a whole," said Woodward in a statement.

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"The rapid rollout of vaccines in the UK and beyond gives us confidence that we are now on a path towards normality, including the return of fans to stadia.

"While the disruption to our operations remains significant, we are pleased by the tremendous resilience the club has demonstrated through the pandemic, underpinned by the dedication of our people and the strength of our commercial business.

"We have been reminded of the importance of football as a source of community, entertainment and pride to fans around the world, even as we have sorely missed them at Old Trafford.

United have spent big in recent seasons © EXPRESS United have spent big in recent seasons

"The progress made by Ole and the players this season is clear and our thriving academy and women's team are also adding to the optimism we feel about the future on and off the pitch."

United parted ways with around £75m last summer to bring in the likes of Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Facundo Pellistri.

The Red Devils have been among the Premier League's biggest spenders over the last decade, splashing over £1bn on transfers since 2010.

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