S&P Capital IQ has devised a way to help investors keep on top of the game with a "Credit Football League" table, which lays out the credit scores of 44 publicly-listed and private clubs. Its proprietary analysis model takes into account public clubs' stock price movements, performance on the pitch and finances.
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Pitch performance key
Dutch team Ajax topped the league, with Britain's Arsenal, Celtic and Manchester United following close behind. The research suggested these clubs have been consistent in their match performance - a key element of a team's financial success.
Arsenal have won very few championships in recent times, but have qualified for the lucrative Champions League for 18 seasons in a row. S&P's report said that frugal spending on players by the club's manager Arsene Wenger has given the club strong financials and a good credit score.
Some 20 years of success for Manchester United under former manager Alex Ferguson put it in the top five, despite recent struggles which saw it finish seventh in the last English Premier League season and miss out on Champions League qualification.
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French club Racing Club de Lens was ranked bottom of S&P's list of 44, however, with poor ratings for operation, solvency and liquidity.
Euro zone clubs at bottom
There is a divide between teams in northern and southern Europe, according to S&P's league table, reflecting the economic situation on the continent. Of the top 10 teams, 4 are U.K. teams, 3 are German, 2 are French and 1 is Dutch. Towards the bottom of the ranking are clubs from Italy, France and Portugal.
"If you look at the table it seems like there is a north-south divide because the countries harder hit by the recession are where consumer sentiment was a lot lower and people spent less on merchandise and tickets," Pavle Sabic, director of credit market development at S&P Capital IQ, told CNBC by phone.