(Reuters) - English Premier League club Southampton have been named the fastest growing football brand in the world after rising in value by 89 percent in the past year to $183 million.
The Brand Finance Football 50 report puts them 18th in the world overall, up from 30th in 2014, after another successful season.
The Saints, who were in the third tier of English football four years ago, finished seventh in the Premier League under Dutchman Ronald Koeman, qualifying for next season’s Europa League.
“Southampton has been more than a passive beneficiary of booming broadcast revenues,” the report said.
“It has gone from strength to strength since promotion in 2012. The club’s apparent knack for identifying talented young players at a reasonable cost and developing them into stars has enabled it to climb the Premier League rankings whilst turning a tidy profit.”
Manchester United’s brand was the most valuable in world football, rising 63 percent to $1.2 billion and taking them above Bayern Munich ($933 million) and Real Madrid ($873 million).
The top 10 was completed by Manchester City, Chelsea, Barcelona, Arsenal, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham Hotspur.
Reporting by Steve Tongue; editing by Ken Ferris
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