Revenue records tumble in Britain

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LONDON (AFP) – The 92 Premier League and Football League clubs recorded combined revenues in excess of $5.7 billion in the 2015/16 season, according to consultants Deloitte.

English top-flight clubs generated record revenues of $4.63bn, a 9 percent increase, in the final year of the league’s 2013-16 broadcast cycle, the firm said in its annual review of football finance. Revenues will continue to rise in the 2017/18 season, the review forecast.

Wage costs rose to 12 percent to $2.96bn and the Premier League showed little sign of austerity, with its 20 clubs recording a third consecutive season of operating profits in excess of $643m in the 2015/16 season.

Dan Jones, partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said top clubs did well out of European competition.

“In the 2015/16 season, the ‘big six’ clubs participated in the group stages of UEFA competitions and benefitted from improved UEFA broadcast rights deals, which resulted in an increase in distributions to participating English clubs of around £100m ($128m) ,” he said.

Deloitte forecasts “total Premier League clubs’ revenues to rise to over $5.8 billion in 2017/18.”

Newly-promoted Huddersfield Town will benefit from the windfall “with clubs standing to earn a revenue uplift of at least $218m from promotion to the Premier League, rising to over $373m if they survive one season”.

The Premier League continues to boom after competition between Sky Sports and BT drove the overall value for domestic TV rights for the 2016-19 cycle to more than $6.6bn over three seasons.

In other findings, the review said the size of the European football market reached nearly $28.65bn in the 2016/17 season, a 13 percent increase from 2014/15, with the aggregate revenues of clubs in the ‘big five’ European leagues topping $14.90bn, a 12 percent increase.

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