If you were to ask any fan of Aston Villa if the club is worth more now than it was last year, you'd get a pretty resounding no. By the end of this season Villa had hit a nadir in their four-year downswing, one that most of us just hope is the bottom. But according to the Brand Finance Football 50, Aston Villa are actually worth more this year than they were last, and by a pretty significant margin, too.
The directory measures the value of a club's brand: in essence the cost that a third party would pay to license the brand. It takes into account risk of investment, longevity, future potential, as well as a range of football-based factors. With that in mind, Aston Villa have seen their valuation rise from £53 million last year to £68 million this year. That's good for 23rd in the world, and 8th-best in the Premier League.
They're in fairly good company, too. The four teams immediately ahead of them (from 19-22) are Atletico Madrid, Everton, Napoli, and Bayer Leverkusen. From a fan's perspective, this doesn't really mean much, but it's certainly a good selling point to potential buyers of the club. Hopefully it will make Villa a more desirable asset for some super-wealthy person to take.