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Manchester United top world rich list

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As Manchester United began their American tour creating excitement in Rhode Island of all places, Forbes magazine announced that they hads topped their list of the world's richest sports clubs.   The 'capitalist tool' journal value the football club at an arguably conservative £1.16bn.   They were estimated to have 333 million followers worldwide, although those in Asia far outnumber those in the US.

Forbes reckons that United's name alone has a brand value of $285m.   The next big earner for the club is expected to be the renegotiation of their kit and merchandise partnership with Nike with a deal expected to be agreed by the end of 2012.  The £302.9m 13-year deal does not expire until 2015 but it is thought that the new arrangement could be worth as much as £40m a year.

All of the National Football League's 32 teams make it into the top 50, but top baseball teams such as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox also make the grade.   At £908m, Real Madrid are the second most valuable football club.