The Premier League has cemented its status as unquestionably the world's richest league, with projected collective earnings of £4.5 billion last season, according to Deloitte.
The prestigious audit and financial consulting firm has released its Annual Review of Football Finance 2017, covering the 2015-16 campaign, during which total earnings were £3.6bn, a rise of nine per cent from the previous period.
While the latest accounts are yet to be published, that figure is believed to have increased considerably last term, which was the first season of a lucrative new television rights deal, worth a total of £8.4bn for domestic and international markets, or £2.8bn per season, over three years from 2016 to 2019.
Combined revenue for clubs in England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France was said by Deloitte to have increased by 12 per cent to £11.8bn in 2015-16, fuelled by increases in broadcast income from UEFA Champions League participation.
Much of this was reinvested by teams in spending on wages, which increased by 10 per cent to £7.2bn.
"Even in the final year of its old broadcast contracts, Premier League revenues continued to set new records," Dan Jones, a partner in Deloitte's sports business group, was quoted as saying.
The lure of securing promotion to the Premier League continues to encourage major speculative spending among Championship clubs, who paid more in wages (£561m) than they earned (£556m) and had record operating losses of £261m in 2015-16.