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The Financial Powerhouses of Football: Ranking the Costliest Leagues in the World

As we step into late September, the world of club football is in full swing. This week our attention at SportingPedia shifts from individual team valuations to the overall estimates of entire domestic leagues. In our latest endeavor, we rank the world’s most expensive football leagues based on the collective value of their participating teams. We provide two distinct perspectives: one examining the total value and the other focusing on the average market value of each team within each league. Notably, our analysis reveals a striking fact – precisely 10 football leagues have surpassed the remarkable milestone of €1 billion in total market value.

The graphic illustrates the big difference between the English Premier League and the rest. It also helps realize why we often refer to the English, Spanish, German, Italian and French leagues as “The Top 5 European Leagues”.

Billionaires Club

An exclusive club of football leagues exceeding €1 billion in valuation includes exactly 10 members. Among these championships, seven belong to UEFA, showcasing the financial strength of European football. Additionally, one league each represents CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, and AFC, indicating the global reach of the sport.

The English Premier League Dominance

The English Premier League (EPL) stands as the undisputed leader when it comes to financial power. With a staggering total value of €10.41 billion, the EPL outshines all other domestic leagues. This league’s financial muscle is a testament to its global popularity and lucrative broadcasting deals. The EPL’s 20 teams boast an average value of €520.50 million each.

Brazilian Serie A’s Non-European Breakthrough

Breaking into the top rankings of football leagues worldwide is the Brazilian Serie A, holding the sixth position. This remarkable feat positions it as the first non-European domestic league among the top 10. With a total value of €1.44 billion, the Brazilian Serie A showcases the growing strength of South American football. Each of its 20 teams has an average value of €72.00 million, reflecting the increasing marketability of Brazilian football talents.

MLS vs Saudi Pro League: A Tale of Team Numbers and Average Values

Upon closer examination, we can discern an intriguing dynamic between Leo Messi’s new destination, MLS, and his eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo’s Saudi Pro League. While the MLS boasts a higher total value (€1.27 billion) compared to the Saudi Pro League (€1.18 billion), there’s a crucial factor at play. MLS is composed of 29 teams, whereas the Saudi Pro League comprises only 18 teams.
However, when we shift our focus to the average market values of teams, a different narrative unfolds. The MLS teams have an average market value of €43.79 million, significantly lower than the Saudi Pro League’s average of €65.56 million per team. This reversal underscores the higher individual value of Saudi Pro League teams compared to their counterparts in the MLS.

The Others

In the lower half of the ranking, there are an additional 7 European leagues, along with 3 leagues representing Russia, Argentina, and Mexico. Furthermore, there are five leagues whose total values fall below the €500 million threshold. These leagues include the Greek Super League, the Austrian Bundesliga, the Scottish Premiership, the Swiss Super League, and Denmark’s Superligaen, with valuations ranging from €268.73 million to €418.55 million.