Premier League leads European football market with double La Liga revenue in 2021-22

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An annual financial report by Deloitte has revealed that the Premier League has established itself as the leader of the European football market in the 2021-22 season.

The total revenue of England’s top flight in 2021-22 is £5.5bn, almost double that of Spain’s La Liga.

The return of crowds to stadiums in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to a 10% increase in revenue across Europe.

However, a 15% increase in wage costs in the “Big Five” leagues resulted in a loss of operating profit.

“The top-level figures show that European football has recovered from its most challenging period to date,” said Tim Bridges, principal partner of Deloitte’s sports practice group.

“After the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, pent-up demand from fans led to record matchdays and commercial revenues across Europe.”

Premier League emerges as market leader

England’s top-flight clubs have reported a 12% increase in total revenue for the 2021-22 season, taking them to a record €6.4bn (£5.5bn).

Matchday revenue for the Premier League totaled £763m – a £732m increase on the 2020-21 season, when football was played mostly behind closed doors.

Following the full reopening of football stadiums in August 2021, average attendances for the season reached a record high of 39,950, helping to exceed pre-pandemic matchday revenue levels of 2018-19 by £684m.

Deloitte attributed the Premier League’s record commercial revenue of £1.7bn to a renewed appetite for football after the pandemic.

Bridge said international interest continued to drive revenue growth for the Premier League, but warned that “sustainable operating, financing models and acting with integrity” need to be at the forefront of stakeholders’ concerns to ensure the league’s “longevity and ultimate success”. “.

Despite seven Premier League teams reporting wage falls, total wage costs – including players and non-playing players – rose by 6% to £192m, the second year in a row of increases.

Wage growth still outpaced revenue growth, but the club’s operating profit (excluding player transfer funds) fell by £1m in 2021-22 to £459m in 2021-22 due to a £395m increase in operating expenses.

However, the new owner’s takeover of Newcastle United and Chelsea helped reduce the Premier League club’s net debt by 34%, from £4.1bn to £2.7bn.

How do the Big Five compare?

La Liga’s revenue is still half that of the Premier League despite an 11% rise in total revenue to €3.3bn (£2.8bn) in 2021-22.

Likewise, the easing of Covid-19 restrictions was the main reason for the increase in revenue across Europe, with Spanish top-flight clubs generating €409m (£349m) in matchday revenue, €353m (£302m) more than in 2019-20 .

Germany’s Bundesliga saw a mid-season hiatus due to the reintroduction of coronavirus measures, but the league’s revenue rose 5% to €3.1bn (£2.6bn).

Meanwhile, French Ligue 1 clubs recorded the biggest increase in total revenue – up 26% from €412m (£353m) to a record €2bn (£1.7bn).

Italy’s Serie A was the only top-five league to see a drop in total revenue, which fell 7% to €2.4bn (£2.1bn) as the value of domestic and international broadcast deals fell.

Deloitte’s Bridge says the introduction of UEFA’s latest financial sustainability regulations will Limit club spending on wages, transfer fees and agency feesplacing European clubs at a crossroads between “the most critical regulatory change the sport has ever seen and a wave of global football investment seeking to challenge the established system”.

Bridge added: “As emerging leagues look to increase their offerings and access the best on-pitch talent, the future of European clubs may depend on how strong their financial footing is and whether they can use it to remain competitive and relevant. sex.”

Championship clubs’ net debt ‘significant’

In the 2021-22 season, the combined revenue of the Championship, League One and League Two is more than £1 billion.

English League Two revenue rose 13% to £676m, league revenue rose 71% to £220m and League Two revenue rose 32% to £124m.

Despite wage costs falling for the second year in a row in 2021-22, Championship wages remain higher than earnings, with a wage-to-income ratio of 108%.

Championship clubs have a net debt of £1.7bn in 2021-22, which Bridge calls “significant” and says “long-term decisions” are needed to counter the “glare of Premier League promotion” that drives Championship clubs ‘financially overextended’.

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