Premier League football clubs smash revenue records

Premier League clubs reported revenues up by 9% last season to hit a record of £3.6bn, in the final year before the start of the new broadcast deals in 2016/17, according to Deloitte’s annual review of football finance

Despite wage costs increasing by 12% to £2.3bn, Premier League clubs recorded a third consecutive season of operating profits in excess of £500m in 2015/16, and have generated combined operating profits of over £1.6bn over the past three seasons, more than they managed in total over the previous 16 seasons combined.

Dan Jones, partner in the sports business group at Deloitte, said: ‘Even in the final year of its old broadcast contracts, Premier League revenues continued to set new records. In the 2015/16 season, the “big six” clubs participated in the group stages of UEFA competitions and benefitted from improved UEFA broadcast rights deals, which resulted in an increase in distributions to participating English clubs of around £100m.

‘With the commencement of the new Premier League broadcast rights cycle in 2016/17, supported by new commercial agreements at clubs and matchday revenue growth from new and expanded stadia, we expect total Premier League clubs’ revenues to rise to over £4.5bn in 2017/18.’

Premier League clubs generated more in operating profit (which excludes items such as player trading and amortisation) in 2015/16 than any other football league in the world.  The clubs spent a record £1.3bn on transfers during the 2015/16 season, surpassing the previous season’s record of £1.1bn by over 20%.

Total Premier League net debt fell for the third consecutive season, by £125m (5%) to £2.2bn at the end of the 2015/16 season. The clubs returned to a collective pre-tax loss in 2015/16, but Deloitte’s analysis suggests this is unlikely to be a lasting trend.

Jones said: ‘The return to pre-tax losses in 2015/16 was the result of exceptional, or one-off, accounting adjustments, without which clubs collectively would have broken even. Operating profits exceeded £500m for the third season in a row and we fully expect that Premier League clubs will collectively achieve record levels of profitability in the seasons to come.’

Broadcast revenue accounted for more than half of Premier League clubs’ total revenue and, at £1.9bn in 2015/16, had almost doubled since 2008/09.

Total capital expenditure by Premier League and Football League clubs rose by 3% in the 2015/16 season to £313m, a new record. The combined revenues of all 92 Premier League and Football League clubs generated a record £4.4bn.

Deloitte’s review also found that total European football market revenues reached almost €25bn (£22bn) in 2015/16, a 13% increase on 2014/15, driven by continued growth in broadcast rights values in European football’s biggest leagues, and the impact of UEFA Euro 2016.

The ‘big five’ European leagues grew collective revenues by €1.4bn (12%) to a record €13.4bn in 2015/16, with all five leagues exhibiting revenue growth on the previous season.

Deloitte’s 26th Annual Review of Football Finance 2017 is here.

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