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Professional services firm Deloitte has released the 2014 edition of its Annual Review of Football Finance.

Professional services firm Deloitte has released the 2014 edition of its Annual Review of Football Finance.

The report, compiled by Deloitte’s designated sports business group, provides a detailed financial analysis of soccer’s 2012-13 season.

One of its headline findings was that the revenue of Premier League clubs passed the UK£2.5 billion mark for the first time, a seven per cent increase on the previous season.

Unsurprisingly, 2012/13 champions Manchester United recorded the largest revenue (UK£363 million), while Wigan Athletic, who were relegated in 18th, the least (UK£58 million).

The report predicts that the combined revenue of the Premier League clubs will reach UK£3.24 billion in the 2013-14 season, as a result of new domestic and international broadcast deals, meaning that it will have doubled in the space of just seven years.

“A remarkable achievement in isolation,” said Dan Jones, a partner at the firm. “But phenomenal in the wider economic context of that same period.”

The total amount spent on wages increased by UK£125 million (eight per cent) over the same period, taking the league’s wages-to-revenue ratio to a new high of 71 per cent. At 129 per cent, free-spending Queens Park Rangers had the highest ratio in the division, despite finishing bottom.

Although aggregate profit fell by UK£2 million to UK£82 million, the number of profitable teams increased from ten to 13.

The continental outlook

The cumulative revenue of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France grew by five per cent, to €9.8 billion, representing just under half of the overall size of the European soccer market (€19.9 billion).

The Italian and Spanish leagues experienced the lowest rates of growth, as their economies battled to recover from the Eurozone crisis. The return of Juventus to the Champions League resulted in the Turin-based club accounting for more than 75 per cent of Serie A’s total revenue growth.

This division between the haves and the have-nots was even starker in France, where Qatari-back Paris Saint–Germain accounted for all of Ligue 1’s revenue growth for the second season on the bounce.

Of the ‘big five’, Germany’s Bundesliga was found to be both the least reliant on television rights revenue and the strongest in terms of cost control, with a wages-to-revenue ratio of 51 per cent. However, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund were responsible for more than 80 per cent of the competition’s revenue increase.

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