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Man Utd brand 'worth pounds 127m'

The Manchester United brand is worth pounds 127m, and the Newcastle United brand comes a distant second with a value of pounds 61m, according to a study of football club brand values due to be published in the next two weeks by Interbrand, the branding consultancy.

The brand value for Newcastle will be of great interest to potential investors in the club, which is due to publish its prospectus within the next two weeks. Analysts have speculated that the club will attract a flotation value of close to pounds 200m.

The Interbrand study argues that football club names and logos are potentially among the most powerful brands in the consumer goods market, attracting fanatical loyalty from a core group of consumers who form the club's supporter base.

For the more successful clubs, their brand also has value to "floating" fans, whose allegiance depends on whether the team is near the top of the league and winning trophies.

The Interbrand figures come from a calculation based on the discounted future earnings of the football club brand name from gate receipts, merchandise sales and television revenue, less the cost of the club's capital - in broad terms the value of its stadium, property and players.

If, however, the football club that owns the brand is not making an operating profit, the brand value is zero.

The implication of the Interbrand report is that clubs with stock market or AIM listings should value their brands on the balance sheet to bridge some of the gap between the value of their fixed assets and the market capitalisation of the club.