Social Media Claim

Sydney Roosters rugby league club is not the world’s second most valuable sports team

This Facebook post from July 23, 2019 ranks the Sydney Roosters rugby league football club as the second most valuable team in the world, with a value of $6.54 billion.

The Statement

AAP FactCheck examined a Facebook post from July 23, 2019 by The NRL Post (National Rugby League Post) featuring a table titled, “Forbes Most Valuable Sports Teams 2019”. The table lists the top 10 sports teams in the world. It bears the logos of The NRL Post and Fox Sports and features an image of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. The table, with figures in Australian dollars, ranks the Sydney Roosters rugby league football team as the second most valuable in the world with a value of $6.54 billion behind the USA Dallas Cowboys NFL club ($7.11 billion).

The post was shared more than 270 times and attracting 416 comments and more than 500 reactions.

The NRL Post has more than 10,000 Facebook followers despite providing no details about its origin or purpose on Facebook or Instagram.

Fox Sports Australia also posted the Forbes top 10 sports teams on Twitter on July 23, 2019, ranking the New York Yankees as the second most valuable team as reported by Forbes.

The Analysis

American business magazine Forbes publishes an annual list of the world’s top 50 most valuable sports teams based on profits before “earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization”. It published its latest list on July 22, 2019.

Number one on the Forbes list was the Dallas Cowboys gridiron team with a value of $US5 billion ($A7.2 billion) followed by the New York Yankees baseball team in second position with a value of $US4.6 billion ($A6.6 billion). The Sydney Roosters are not on the list and nor is there any Australian sports teams on the list.

The Forbes top 10 list in order is: Dallas Cowboys NFL club , New York Yankees MLB baseball club, Real Madrid soccer club, Barcelona soccer club, New Yorks Knicks NBA basketball club, Manchester United soccer club, New England Patriots NFL gridiron club, Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball club, Golden State Warriors NBA basketball club, and the New York Giants NFL gridiron club tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers MLB baseball club at equal 10th both with an equal value of $US3.3 billion. The last team on the top 50 Forbes list is the New Orleans Saints gridiron team with a value of $US2.08 billion.

Established in 1908, the Sydney Roosters are owned by Sydney businessman Nick Politis and are the 2018 National Rugby League premiers. The Roosters 2018 annual report shows the NRL club’s earnings were $74 million with an after profit tax of $1.6 million. This compares with another profitable Australian NRL club, the Brisbane Broncos which earned $51 million in 2018, with an after tax profit of $2.06 million. In 2017 the Broncos was the only profitable NRL club.

The Forbes most valuable sports teams list is widely reported around the world on multiple media platforms.

Fox Sports Australia posted a table of the Forbes top 10 sports teams on Twitter on July 23, 2019, together with an image of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and its Fox Sports logo. The same table was reposted by NRL Post which added its own logo and changed the number two ranked team to the Sydney Roosters.

The Verdict

Based on this evidence AAP FactCheck found The NRL Post post is false. The Sydney Roosters is not the world’s second most valuable sports team.

  • False - The Facebook post is false.

First published July 31, 2019 12:52 AEST