United have been valued at €3.004 billion, ahead of both Real (€2.895bn) and Barcelona (€2.688bn). KPMG had estimated Madrid and United as being worth €2.9bn at the end of the 2015-16 season.
Bayern Munich (€2.367bn) are fourth on the list, with Manchester City (€1.909bn) the next highest-placed English team in fifth. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur complete the top 10.
The huge TV deal that the Premier League has, means that six of the top ten richest sides in Europe are now English.
In a statement, KPMG’s global head of sports Andrea Sartori said the figures show the growth in the game underpinned by the broadcasting boom and more sustainable management models.
“The aggregate value of Europe’s 32 leading football clubs suggests that the overall value of football, as an industry, has grown.
“While this is partially explained by football’s broadcasting boom, the internationalisation of the clubs’ commercial operations, their investment into privately-owned and modern facilities, and overall more sustainable management practices, are also key reasons for this growth.
“In terms of media rights value, the English Premier League sits comfortably at the top of European leagues, although other major leagues have outlined well-defined strategies to compete for the attention of global fans.
“However, unlike other factors, individual club’s ability to influence their broadcasting income is often limited, despite the very evident impact this revenue stream has on their enterprise value.”
The Premier League clubs are not just dominating because of their massive £8.3bn TV deal. That global visibility is spilling over to other areas as English clubs now hold five of the top 10 positions for shirt-sponsorship revenue, too, with United in first place, ahead of Barca, Bayern, Chelsea and Real.
The world’s 20 most valuable football clubs:
1. Manchester United (€3.004bn)
2. Real Madrid (€2.895bn)
3. Barcelona (€2.688bn)
4. Bayern Munich (€2.367bn)
5. Manchester City (€1.909bn)
6. Arsenal (€1.882bn)
7. Chelsea (€1.524bn)
8. Liverpool (€1.260bn)
9. Juventus (€1.158bn)
10. Tottenham Hotspur (€978m)
11. Paris Saint-Germain (€948m)
12. Borussia Dortmund (€917m)
13. Atletico Madrid (€771m)
14. Schalke (€663m)
15. AC Milan (€504m)
16. Leicester (€442m)
17. Everton (€431m)
18. Roma (€433m)
19. Inter Milan (€407m)
20. Napoli (€388)