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Premier League back in the black as TV cash rolls in

Clubs have recorded the first combined pre-tax profit for 15 years

By Martyn Herman

English Premier League clubs have recorded the first combined pre-tax profit for 15 years thanks to the soaring value of television deals and a slowdown in
players’ salaries.

While on-field performances of England’s top teams against Europe’s elite have regressed in the Champions League and Europa League, their bank accounts are bulging, according to business advisory firm Deloitte.

In 2013-14, Premier League clubs generated a combined pre-tax profit of 190 million pounds – four times greater than the previous record of £49 million in 1997-98.

The figures are in sharp contrast to the previous decade when Premier League clubs accumulated combined pre-tax losses of £2.6 billion.
Deloitte analyst Dan Jones said clubs were now spending less of their income on players’ salaries.
“Last season was the first in the Premier League’s current three-year broadcast deal, which was a record breaker when it was struck,” Jones said.
“Despite this extra income clubs showed relative restraint in wage costs, which grew by six per cent.
“With the recent announcement of another record Premier League broadcast deal, the revenue increases show no sign of ending and should make this season’s profit a regular outcome.”

The report said that, excluding player trading, net interest charges and the amortisation of contracts, top flight clubs recorded a £620 million operating profit last season.

However the percentage of revenue spent on player salaries had fallen from a record of 71 per cent in 2012-13 to 58 percent in 2013-14 – the lowest since 1998-99.

With television revenues set to rise to eye-watering levels from the 2016-17 season thanks to a £5.13 billion rights deal, the Premier League now enjoys a huge advantage over other top European leagues, said Deloitte analyst Andy Bull.

“The current broadcast deal has given Premier League clubs such a large revenue advantage over the vast majority of European clubs that they can attract the top playing talent without over stretching themselves financially,” he said.

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