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92 English league clubs make record £4bn

Do Not UseDo Not Use 1/06/2016
A camera man films prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Newcastle United at The King Power Stadium on March 14, 2016 © Getty Images A camera man films prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Newcastle United at The King Power Stadium on March 14, 2016

The 92 Premier League and Football League clubs generated more than £4bn in revenues for the first time ever in 2014-15, according to Deloitte.

HMRC sign © Getty Images HMRC sign

Its sport business group says the record sum was accompanied by capital spending of £305m, the most ever invested in a single season.

Kasper Schmeichel of Leicester City dives for the ball with Pedro Rodriguez of Chelsea © Getty Images Kasper Schmeichel of Leicester City dives for the ball with Pedro Rodriguez of Chelsea

Current blockbuster TV rights' deals saw Premier League clubs generate £3.3bn record revenues, up by 3%.

Celtic fans during their 2013-14 CL group match v Ajax: Celtic failed to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League in 2014-15 season © Getty Images Celtic failed to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League in 2014-15 season

Top flight clubs saw a second straight year of pre-tax profits in 2014-15.

That is the first time this has happened since 1999.

Broadcast boost

"The pace of football's financial growth in two and a half decades is staggering," said Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.

"By half-time of the second televised Premier League game next year, more broadcast revenue will have been generated than during the whole of the First Division season 25 years ago."

He added: "The impact of the Premier League's broadcast deal is clear to see. For the first time, the Premier League leads the football world in all three key revenue categories - commercial, match day and broadcast - and this is driving sustainable profitability.

"When the enhanced new broadcast deals commence in the 2016-17 season, operating profits could rise as high as £1bn."

He also said that it was encouraging to see that much of this new-found TV wealth was being spend by clubs on improving stadia and infrastructure.

Although the wages/revenue ratio has increased for the Premier League clubs, Mr Jones does not see this as cause for concern.

"Wage costs grew at a faster rate than revenues in 2014-15 and as a result the division's wages/revenue ratio rose from 58% to 61%," he said.

"However, this represents the second lowest level since 2004-05 and is 10 percentage points lower than in 2012-13.

"In fact, in the last two years, only 30% of revenue increases have been consumed by wage growth, whereas in the five years to 2012-13 this figure was 99%."

Meanwhile, the UK government's tax take from the top 92 professional football clubs in 2014-15 was roughly £1.5bn, up from £1.4 billion the previous season.

Premier League highlights 2014-15

Broadcast rights deals saw Premier League clubs enjoy second-highest ever operating profits (£546m) and pre-tax profits (£121m) in 2014-15

A total of 17 Premier League clubs recorded an operating profit; 14 recorded a pre-tax profit

Clubs' wage costs increased by 7% to exceed £2bn for the first time

Clubs' revenues were more than €2 billion (£1.5bn) higher than the next highest earning league, Germany's Bundesliga

Clubs' combined gross spending to acquire players was a record-high of £1.1bn

Clubs' net debt remained at £2.4bn with interest-free soft loans, usually from owners, accounting for 75% of the total

The 25th Annual Review of Football Finance also found that combined revenue for the "big five" European leagues (England, Germany, Spain, Italy, and France) rose by 6% to a record €12bn (£9.2bn) in 2014-15, a new record.

While the Premier League, Bundesliga and Spain's La Liga were profitable, Italy's Serie A and France's Ligue 1, generated combined operating losses.

'Unsustainable'

In England's second tier, the Championship, combined revenues grew 12% to £548m in 2014-15, exceeding £500m for the first time.

"Wage costs rose by 4% to £541m which, despite a reduction in the wages/revenue ratio from 106% in 2013-14 to 99%, means clubs spent almost as much on wages as they generated in revenue," said Deloitte.

"This remains an unsustainable level of spending without the support of owner funding. This resulted in operating losses of £225m and a combined pre-tax loss of £191m."

In Scotland, Celtic's failure to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League contributed to a fall in Premiership clubs' aggregate revenues of 9%, or some £13m.

However, the Glasgow club still accounted for 50% of all revenues in the division, as they lifted the title for a fourth successive year.

Deloitte added: "The new league format introduced in 2013-14 is proving attractive to partners, with 2014-15 marking the start of a nine-year agreement with MP & Silva to market the international (non EEA - European Economic Area) rights to the SPFL, which is now shown in more than 100 countries."

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