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I'd like to give my thoughts on the discussion of what constitutes the "best club/franchise/brand/(whatever else you like to call it)."

First, I want to mention that such a discussion is highly subjective. Everyone has their own perception of what makes a club the biggest franchise or the biggest brand. There is no one single factor that universally determines such an honour.

I think the best way to determine which club holds the honour of being the 'biggest' in whatever capacity depends on the assessment and comparison of a multitude of factors.

The following are some of the criteria I'd look into. Feel free to add your own.

- Number of titles won (major titles holding more weight)
- Marquee players who have featured for said club
- Total number of supporters
- Distribution of support throughout the world
- Shirt sales
- Historical relevance (e.g. what they pioneered)
- Club value
- Held records (could also include player records)
- Profitable enterprise?

Perhaps I've missed some. Obviously some of the aforementioned criteria would hold more value than others, but a combination of various factors are required in order to come to an agreement that would be accepted universally.

Again, this is a highly subjective discussion, and a small portion of fans will probably selectively undermine the validity of some of these factors while grossly exaggerating others, which they may not even accurately represent (Manchester United claiming to have 10% of the world's population as supporters?), but I still think a consensus, more or less, can be achieved.

After having analysed and compared the aforementioned criteria, one can definitely argue Real Madrid would hold quite the advantage.
+2
Here is my top 4 ranking based on the criteria you just mentioned:

1-Real Madrid

2-Manchester United

3-Bayern Munich

4-Arsenal

+5
- being marketable
- image/perception of the club
- location
There's a difference between best club and biggest brand. As your said its highly subjective when it comes to naming any club, the best club. The biggest brand can easily be determined with marketing numbers. United is the biggest football brand out there. Their last shirt sponsorship deal which was delayed puts them in number 1 spot. That also shows their marketing potential since it is the most expensive shirt sponsorship deal in football. Also, there has been talk about stadium naming rights. United could fetch the biggest number there as well. Compared to them Madrid and Barca make a majority of their money from unequal tv rights which will be corrected this year. So let's see how that affects their revenues but it will take away a decent chunk of change from their income.

As far as trophies are concerned, you can do a count of ALL time number of trophies or count the number of trophies in the modern era where the competition has become much wider. Depending on what is important for you to decide which club is best, the rankings will change.
+1
Seeing as how Manchester United have failed to make the Champions League, you'd think their marketing potential would take a hit.

As for the stadium's naming rights, they're below Manchester City's. Unless a new deal finalizes, including it in our current discussion would be invalid.

http://www.american-appraisal.co.uk/UK/Home-Page-Features/Feature-1.htm

I don't know about Barcelona, but Real Madrid's revenue is equally allocated from 3 sources. They are the following:

- TV Revenue
- Match Day Proceeds
- Commercial Revenue

http://swissramble.blogspot.ca/2012/10/real-madrid-and-barcelona-leaders-of.html

I tried to find a good source to determine the total market value of Manchester United, and found that it was at €389 million. I used the same source to find Real Madrid's total market value and I found it to be at €717 million. I'm not exactly sure how it was calculated, but that's quite the difference.

- Transfermarkt.com

And according to 'Forbes', Real Madrid are understood to be the most valuable sporting franchise on the planet. I think that would have some bearing on brand name.

As far as trophies are concerned, and in addition to many other contributing factors, you'd take into consideration every title won lest you have a club such as Chelsea (with all due respect) judged to be above a historically rich club like Liverpool, for example.

But again, this tends to be a subjective topic and answers will likely vary.
Forbes has a page dedicated to some general statistics and figures on Real Madrid and Manchester United (since this seems to be the focus of the discussion). I'll provide the links below.

http://www.forbes.com/teams/real-madrid/

http://www.forbes.com/teams/manchester-united/

The values are calculated as of May 2014 so I'm not sure what kind of impact Manchester United's new sponsorship deal (Adidas) will have.

I'm also under the impression that their sponsorship deal will be subject to change depending on their ability to reach the Champions League come end of the season? Perhaps one of their's can clarify with the details.
Actually, United's absence in Europe doesn't make much of a difference to them since BPL's marketing strategy trumps all other leagues. They will lose out on prize money but that's a small part of their revenue.

The TV rights issue is one which will hurt both Madrid and Barca over the long run. From what I've read, the income will not be dramatically switched off. The plan is to slowly increase the distribution over entire La Liga allowing smaller clubs to come up. As a basic comparison (I don't remember exact numbers), the top 2 in La Liga make around 7 times the amount from Tv rights as the lowest one. In the BPL, United makes around 1.5 times. BPL's TV contract is a lot bigger than La Liga's but still Barca/Madrid make around 140 million compared to United which makes around 80 million.

Mind you, La Liga broadcast rights deal was somewhere around 1.2 billion euros (if I'm not mistaken). Compared to that BPL has a deal in place for around 3 bn pounds. So overall, Madrid and Barca have a big advantage when it comes to their annual revenues. When the TV rights deals are tapered off to make it more equitable in La Liga, you're going to see a good 25% drop.

The commercial aspect is where United will go ahead. Their deal is worth 75 million pounds per year compared to Madrid's 31m per year. The same is the case with Chevrolet which is paying United 50m pounds per year while the Emirates deal with Madrid is around 25m pounds.

Depending on how United perform (its most likely they will make a comeback) you're going to see United's value soar.
I haven't forgotten about Barcelona, Franky. They weren't the topic this discussion was heading towards so we both neglected them. The same goes for Bayern.

You make a valid point. How fortunate they are to be signing such lucrative deals despite their disastrous campaign last season. I'm still surprised, actually.

Still, not qualifying for European contention prevents them from receiving proceeds/revenue during European nights/throughout the competition. It probably won't be a big blow in the grand scheme of things (for now), but it will affect them nonetheless as other heavyweights benefit from it.

As of right now, and keeping in line with the original point, one can definitely argue for Real Madrid's superiority in said areas.
Well, hopefully you and I will be discussing La Liga's new broadcasting rights and revenue distribution once progress is made and the deal actually comes to fruition. As of now, that shouldn't be held against Real Madrid in this particular discussion.

I wasn't referring to revenue alone when I spoke of Manchester United's absence from Europe. I was talking about their marketing potential. I think missing out from European contention would hold some weight in this regard.

This is also why many, including myself, are surprised at the trust General Motors (GM) and Adidas have placed in Manchester United. It's also why I think there's a clause in the Adidas sponsorship deal related to where they finish by the end of the season. Again, I'm not entirely positive about it.

Only time will tell whether or not Manchester United are capable of returning the massive amount of trust put into them.
Revenue and marketing potential are directly related. United make their money from their marketing potential. They sign fat contracts with sponsors which in turn increases their brand value and marketing potential. This leads to BPL getting larger contracts with its TV rights which further increases their market. One follows the other. United's size and presence on the global stage makes it hard for them to not make money even if they aren't in Europe for a year. If they don't play in Europe for 3-4 years then its a different story altogether.

You are forgetting that Barcelona is the fastest growing brand in the last decade. In spite of all the stupid s hit that the board does not to mention millions of waster dollars in stupid transfers Barca's brand has risen from around 15th 10 years ago to number 2 (current numbers). Barca's value as a club has made huge strides, of course due to the dream team's work. We'll have to wait and watch what happens in the next two years, but if the trend is to be followed, Barca could reach Madrid's revenue levels or even go above it. But trends break at times so we don't know about that.

Also, Bayern is also a club to lookout for in the future.
1. the most valuable team brand in sports; the link might be out of date.. but its still thesame pattern foolwed

http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mlm45jemm/the-most-valuable-team-brands/

2. football club with the highest fan base

http://sportstalkwithamos.blogspot.com/2013/07/top-10-football-clubs-with-highest-fan.html

http://www.fifamoment.com/top-10-football-clubs-with-highest-fan-base-around-the-the-world/

i don't think there is any need to argue... some of you don't know much about what happens outside football, whereas the others are just biased to there own team
... the first football clubs I ever heard of was Man United. they have made their name.

regardless of real Madrid success I can assure you that why we have a good fan-base is because of the stars we sign, not because of records, trophy and financial capability

if man. united is not the biggest team in the world, why would adidas sign that ridiculous deal with them just after they had their worst season ever in over 25 yrs?

united is the biggest football brand both worth (money) and fan base.
we make more more than them cos barcelona and real have advantage in many ways; but it still shocks me how united is this powerful. and its simply bils down to the fanbase cos if they didn't have this strong supporters with their recent perofrmances, they probably will struggle financially; poor sponsorship financially, decreased ticket prices, no stock market involvement...
+1
The biggest football clubs are ManU, Real and Barca.
^man utd is the biggest brand because epl has a great marketing team and it dominated afro-Asian market for decade now.so being so successful in English football makes man utd biggest brand in the world.

In my place I hadn't seen much rm fans till zidane played and hadn't seen much of barca fan till dincho played with us.
So how about 60m for Di Maria, and we'll give you Anderson. (Please please take him I beg of you lol)
Hands off!!!
+1
Tbh If I was a Real Madrid fan I would be so angry. You're letting go your best player for large parts of last season
Angel di Maria was offered a contract upgrade and he rejected the offer. If di Maria wants to leave, his suitor better accept Real Madrid's evaluation of the player.

If not, Real Madrid will have the privilege of utilizing a very talented and industrious player.
+2
@Asasiyun Well said.
+1
You guys think if khedira and di maria exit that we will sign a dm? There will be no muscle in midfield. Wouldnt mind ramos in midfield if it means varane starts but ramos doesnt fit the bill exactly more of a stop gap
pretty sure he is staying in madrid
I think Arsenal will make one more offer, and Madrid will accept.
New third kit. The one with the dragon.

http://i312.photobucket.com/albums/ll349/Todosobrecamisetas/Clubes%202014/Clubes%202014006/14RM3RDOFLK3.jpg

I preorded mine with Kroos on the back.
+1
wow!! awesome..
+1
This is the one have been waiting for where can you preorder Slim??? this is Champions league away kit right???
whats the dragon about? :S
i think inter had a dragon the season after they won the treble.. maybe it is for winning CL? not sure
+1
Might be just to raise the appeal in China and Asia.
@hikmat that would make sense... i think they could have made it look better though

SIF dont say that bro cause we all know what happened to inter after they won the treble :p
Holy crap those look awesome
I have to say, that's a pretty great looking jersey. The subtlety of the dragon print makes it really cool; it's a phantom dragon, lurking in the shadows to strike at the best time!
+1
promo for the new kit. lol

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BvmXEyuIgAAM54v.jpg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e9lhKAP_xA&index=2&list=UUWV3obpZVGgJ3j9FVhEjF2Q
+1
Carlo Ancelotti:

"Di Maria has asked to leave this summer and has turned down a contract renewal."
Also Khedira rejected a new contract as well, but did not ask to leave.

At least we know now whats really happening. We tried our best to keep Di maria,it's his choice to leave. But he should not be let go without a huge amount of money,and I'm sure Perez will only let his go for the right price.
I love the way Ancelotti cuts debates from the roots brewing in the media and throws the ball back to Di Maria.

At the same time no closing the door at his possible continuance.

Your move Noodle.
Good god damn it Di Maria! Forget the freaking money! You are playing for REAL MADRID! Sometimes, I wish every Madrid player had the same mind set as Callejon....
As a Barca fan, i would be very happy to see Di Maria leave hehehe. He was playing beastly last season especially in el classicos and champions league.
+1
Come on guys...we gave you Ronaldo,Beckham and Nistelrooy..Now please give us Dimaria ffs...;)xD
+1
as much as it hurts me to say this, you can have him......




for 70 million :D
+1
The Carver v Atleti:
http://youtu.be/rmraEWFM-SY
+2
Finally the honest discussions I have been having with my own Madridistas boyz for sometime now about Iker Casillas, ones you cant even breath on this forum or you have the OMG police out and in full force pulling a Ferguson City at around 6:05 and at around 10:24 of the Video cast how James if you watch in the replay read the play to follow right to spot where the ball popped up its a skill folks and if you have played with a someone who has that skill you know how effective it can be not luck 12:20 some really good explanation on how financial fair play is actually good for us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvWg0ug82Ec
+2
http://i0.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/004/592/my-brain-is-full-of-f**k.jpg
That's one long sentence Tharius. :P
personally i think at this point its best we sell di maria.. makes no sense keeping both him and james... for his price perez will make it a must that james is played and there is another thing.... if di maria stays isco and jese are gonna be seeing the bench a lot...

have never liked us having so much depth.. i think the depth we had last season was perfect.. enough to give everyone rest, enough to give everyone playing time and enough quality to win games when most of the starting 11 is being rested... di maria has wanted to leave for a while now, though i dont think james is anywhere nearly as good as him, it makes no sense keeping di maria and on the long run i think it might affect our season
Rumors had it Di Maria will become a Manchester United player in the next 48 hours.

Holy flying f**k! I get it if he wants to leave us for PSG (money, top team, CL, trophies) but why would Di Maria leave us for United? They won't make top 4, not in CL, wont win a single medal this season. I'm not even sure he will get paid more there.

If I were Perez, I would force Di Maria to stay. Kinda like City forced Tevez to stay for 3 seasons.
Next thing you know he barely plays..stock goes down..and you sell him to us for pennies:p

Well as long as he doesn't go to united
+1
yh right.. man utd will not make the top 4.

man utd is easily a top 4 candidate this season as long as they solve their defensive problems which they will.

btw, y would di maria move for money when united is the biggest team in the world.. and playing for them makes you more famous.. not to mention if he easily becomes their messiah.

like i said before, i know united is well stacked in attack but di maria is the definition of a player they need to complete the trend.. i feel sorry for other English Prem. league teams if he joins them.

@Realfan
yes, madrid should bench him so his career will be ruined.. we never really appreciated our Dutch and Argentine signings under perez..see how most of them turned out for other teams.. Di maria will definitely not be a different story.. and united is the perfect mix for him..

business wise, i think madrid needs to regain the money they wasted on Rodriguez.. selling di maria now is just the way to do so
+1
'man utd is easily a top 4 candidate this season as long as they solve their defensive problems which they will'

Its easier said than done. Other than Rojo and Shaw (injured) United haven't signed defenders. Right now they are playing with Evans, Jones and Blackett as their CB's and Young and Valencia as their fullbacks. Unless they somehow sign Hummels, I don't see United 'solving their defensive problems'

'btw, y would di maria move for money when united is the biggest team in the world'

Actually, Real Madrid is the biggest football club in the world.

If Di Maria stays at Madrid, he won't get benched. The only reason hes not getting much playing time now is because of his transfer saga. If he stays, I have no doubt he will be a starter.
+1
@RealFan Manchester United has 690 Million Fans in the World.

Not sure if you guys are the biggest football club in the world but you guys are certainly the richest with out a doubt.
690 millions fans around the world? Hmmm...can you prove that?
http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2012/05/29/manchester-united-claims-to-have-659-million-supporters/

I couldn't find the article that came out today but here is the one from 2 years ago that says Kantar did a survey which claims we have 659 Million Supporters.

I also remember reading a article somewhere that Real Madrid had almost 300 million fans around the world in 2007 and that United had more then 300 million during that time.
Damn. 659 million fans...that's insane!
I think you're going to have a hard time finding anyone who agrees with your analysis of Utd, RealFan. Even most Liverpudlians and Citizens may think you're being overly harsh.
I might be a little harsh, but that's how I feel. The top four will be (in my opinion) City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.
We will be fighting for 4th. LVG is a quality manager that will change this team.

Our defense problem isn't a big deal IMO. We are still adjusting to a new formation and we can always switch back to 4 in the back. Our midfield is the real problem IMO. We lack a good quality Winger(Di Maria would be nice if rumors are true) because Januzaj is the only Quality Winger we have. We also lack a CDM.

Also I don't think anyone can claim Di Maria is a Starter for Real Madrid. Ronaldo and Bale are starters in the wing positions and in midfield Di Maria has Kroos.Rodriguez,Modric,Khedira,and Alonso to fight for a spot.
DiMaria was rumored to leave for more then a year now, let's wait till the deadline to see what happens.

Knowing Carletto he will still have something to say about it.
+1
why the hate for united?
@Realfan there are still 9 days left in the transfer window..
everyone is only refusing to join united this season because they are not in the UCL.. but, they have the money.. that easily solves their problem..

yes they've signed Rojo which is a step forward from ferdinard (last season)

like they mentioned, united is adapting to a new 3-5-2 formation.. it happens and they will easily win matches once they get acquainted to the style.

2. mate, madrid is the richest team not the biggest sports brand in the world.. united has always had that title a long time running.. and yes the figures are right.. they have 700+ million fans worldwide, the last i checked something of that nature (will find the link)

3. you easy forget that liverpool had the list work to do last season by not playing in the UCL.. man united don't even have the europa league to distract them this season (just like AS Roma of last season).. think again and tell me why they won't easily make the top 4 even with their squad as it is??
Having the most fans doesn't rank you automatically as the biggest club in the world. Justin Biber has a ton of fan girls,does that make him the best musician? I really hope not.

Players know the best witch club is the biggest or the "best" at a certain time. Right now United is offering a lot of money for world class player,but most of them reject. Now how many player have rejected offers from Madrid or Barca when they called? There is history,trophies and prestige in both of those clubs and it's going on constantly growing,players know that,and they will very rarely reject offers from 2 of the biggest clubs in the world. Also add Bayern to that mix too.
Pejvl...

how do you compare spots and music??
..i would love to bang katy perry someday as i am a big fan of her.. does that make a better singer than adele or susan boyle?

i have not said madrid is not popular.. but please tell yourselves the truth. Man united is a bhigger franchise than Real madrid.. that has always been right from time.

real madrid is still more successful, richer, has more stars and many other stuffs you can think of, but in terms of popularity as a brand, you have to give it to united
+1
Ahhhh and there is our misunderstanding Cjayzz,we have a different understanding of the term "biggest club".

When i say biggest club,I thin of trophies , success , consistency, players that were part of the team etc. Popularity among the fans is also important but not as much for me in terms of the best club in the world. If you compare Madrid and United when it comes to popularity,then yes,you have a good point to say they could be the best(most popular) in the world.
well pejvl..

now you get my point.. the biggest team means the one with the highest fan base.. i didn't say the most successful team..

i have been talking about the fans.. and don't be mistaken; the fans are what make the club strong and keep going..

i rememeber the time man united where in the Europa league, i was in China then and you will be surprised how much interest the networks gave to Europa and airing every man united game till they got beaten by bilbao.

without the fans the clubs can't hold.
since milan fans turned their back on the club 2 yrs ago, it has been hard for them
lets put it this way, there is no club bigger than utd. there are clubs with more money, or are more successful historically, but there's no bigger club. traditionally you would say the same for barca madrid and bayern. there's no bigger club, just comparable.


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