Premier League clubs reach record revenue levels

Teams from England's top division earned a new high of £2.28 billion in the 2010-11 season, but operating profits were down and pre-tax losses were a staggering £380 million
Premier League clubs raked in a record combined revenue of £2.28 billion in the 2010-11 season, according to Deloitte's Annual Review of Football Finance.

In total, the collective revenues of the top 92 clubs in English football rose by nine per cent to £2.9bn. Despite the increase, operating profits were reduced by 19% to £68m, and the combined pre-tax losses were a staggering £380m.

Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, stated: "Top clubs in English football have continued to show impressive revenue growth despite a difficult economic climate.

"Premier League club's revenues increased by 12% in 2010-11, driven by broadcast revenue increasing by 13% to £1.18bn in the first year of a new three year broadcast cycle.

"This uplift was primarily due to an increase in overseas broadcast deal values, demonstrating once again the Premier League's unrivalled global popularity.

"Commercial revenue grew by 18%, although this was largely attributable to clubs with a more global profile."

Another revealing statistic from the review was that more than 80% of Premier League clubs' revenue was spent on wages, which increased by £200m (14%) to almost £1.6bn, resulting in a record ratio of wages/revenue in the Premier League of 70%.

"Despite the increase in revenue, operating profits reduced by 19% to £68m, and combine pre-tax losses were £380m. Gross transfer spending by Premier League clubs increased by £210m (38%) to a record level of £769m," said Adam Bull, consultant in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.

"The challenge for clubs remains converting impressive revenue growth into sustainable profits. This will become even more important for a number of clubs as the financial results for 2011-12 will, for the first time, count towards their Uefa Financial Fair Play break-even calculation."

In terms of debt owed by the clubs, 62% (£1.5bn) of the mammoth £2.4bn is in the form of non-interest bearing 'soft loans', of which almost 90% relates to three clubs - Chelsea (£819m), Newcastle United (£277m) and Fulham (£200m).

Key findings from the Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance 2012 are:

  • The total European football market grew to a record £15.3bn in 2010-11.
  • Premier League clubs generated the highest revenue (£2.3bn) of any European league in 2010-11, followed by Germany and Spain (each £1.6bn), Italy (£1.4bn), and France (£900m).
  • The Bundesliga remained Europe's most profitable league with operating profits of £154m, a 24% increase on the previous year and widening the gap on the Premier League, where operating profits decreased by £16m to £68m.
  • The top 92 English clubs invested £167m in stadia and facilities in 2010-11 and over £3bn has been invested over the last 20 years. This is likely to increase further in the future given the anticipated investment in training ground facilities resulting from the introduction of the Elite Player Performance Plan.
  • Average league capacity utilisation at Premier League clubs was above 90% for the 15th consecutive season, despite total attendances falling by 2% in 2011-12.
  • Net debt of Premier League clubs fell by £351m (13%) to £2.4bn, its lowest since 2006. This overall reduction is not representative of the experience of every club, with increases at around half the Premier League clubs.
  • The Government's tax take from the top 92 professional football clubs was almost £1.2bn in 2010-11, a £219m (23%) increase, largely due to the increase in VAT (to 20%) and the introduction of the 50% rate for earnings over £150,000.