Premier League clubs' profits soar
English Premier League (EPL) football clubs have seen revenues and profits soar to record levels, according to a new report.
An analysis by Deloitte found the total combined revenue of the 20 EPL clubs in 2013-14 was £3.26 billion, a rise of 29% on the previous year, while p re-tax profits of £187 million were the league's first since 1998/99.
The figures reflected a landmark £5.6 billion TV rights deal and the impact of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, the company said.
The report also revealed a gulf in revenues between England's top division and those in Europe, with the EPL raking in more than £1 billion more than its nearest rival, Germany's Bundesliga, and totalling more than Spain's La Liga and Italy's Serie A combined.
European football's governing body Uefa brought in FFP rules to improve club finances, requiring them to break-even or face sanctions.
Dan Jones, a partner at Deloitte's Sports Business Group, compared the impact of FFP to the Bosman ruling, which radically changed football by allowing players to become free agents when their contracts expired.
"We suggested last year that Financial Fair Play could be the most significant development in the football business since the Bosman ruling. Early signs are that this is the case," he said.
"Indeed the change in club profitability in 2013/14 was more profound than anything we could have forecast.
"This year's edition may mark a turning point in football finance and the dawn of a new age of significant profitability for Premier League clubs."
Broadcast revenue reached £1.76 billion in 2013/14, the league's highest revenue stream accounting for 54% of total revenue, and the resulting increase in profitability could attract future investment.
Mr Jones added: "The transformation of Premier League club profitability reported here will fuel even greater global investor interest in Premier League clubs.
"With significant future revenue growth already secured through the recently agreed domestic broadcast rights deals from 2016/17 to 2018/19, as well as the success of cost control regulations, the risks associated with investment in Premier League clubs seem to be diminishing."
While the report found 19 of the 20 EPL clubs recorded an operating profit, amounting to £614 million, it also revealed that just three clubs in England's second tier, the Championship, achieved the same.
Championship revenue increased by 12% to a record of £491 million, driving by a rise in parachute payments.
Total wage costs in the Championship exceeded £500 million for the first time, with the wages-revenue ratio over 100% for the second consecutive season.
Deloitte warned against overspending.
"With wage costs still exceeding revenues across the division as a whole, only increases in Premier League parachute payments were able to stop the league from having a truly disastrous financial picture," Mr Jones said.