Premier League soccer players never had it so good: Deloitte
Sat Jun 07 2014, 20:16 hrs
(In Pics) Manchester City’s Yaya Toure celebrates his goal against Manchester United during their English Premier League soccer match in Manchester. (Image credit: Reuters)
The English Premier League's already well-heeled soccer stars were the biggest winners as growing competition for television rights helped to lift revenue at its clubs to a record £3.2 billion ($5.4 billion) last season. Income for the 20 Premier League clubs rose almost 30% in 2013-14, business services group Deloitte estimates, after telecom company BT bought a share of the TV rights to step up its challenge to long-dominant broadcaster BskyB.
(In Pics) Vincent Kompany celebrates putting Manchester City 2-0 up against West Ham. (Image credit: Reuters)
The appeal of English soccer to TV viewers in its domestic market and around the world makes the sale of broadcasting rights a far more lucrative proposition for the Premier League than for its counterparts in Germany, Spain, Italy and France.
However, the extravagant spending of British clubs makes them far less profitable than their rivals in Germany, where club ownership and finances are more tightly regulated and player wages are not as high. Deloitte's Adam Bull says the Premier League wage bill is estimated to have risen to £2.2 billion last season after players grabbed about 60% of the extra cash.
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney is estimated to earn about £250,000 a week, while Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is another top earner on about £220,000 a week. However, rising income, thanks largely to the higher TV revenue, will help to soften the impact of increased spending on wages. “Given the forecast increase in revenue, this would return the wages-to-revenue ratio back below 70% for the first time since 2009-10,” Bull said. German clubs, meanwhile, spend a little more than half of their income on wages. Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has said he hopes that some of the latest TV windfall will be ploughed back into the game through investment in stadiums and youth development. However, the pressure on leading clubs to qualify for the European Champions League and for smaller teams to maintain their place in the top flight drive spending ever higher. (Image credit: AP)
Manchester United have estimated that absence from European competition next season will cost the club more than £30 million. Relegated Norwich City, Fulham and Cardiff City, meanwhile, will also suffer a heavy decline in income despite so-called parachute payments from the Premier League to cushion the fall. The finances of European soccer have also been shaped by big-spending Russian and West Asian owners over the past decade. English champions Manchester City, bankrolled by Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour, have spent heavily on signing players and paying lavish wages to build a team capable of competing with the best in Europe. But the unstinting largesse of the new breed of club owners has prompted the creation of new rules to force clubs to live within their means. (Image credit: AP)
(In Pics) Fulham's Hugo Rodallega, left no. 20, scores against Norwich City during their English Premier League soccer match at Craven Cottage, London. (Image credit: AP)
City and Qatari-owned French champions Paris St Germain were among the first clubs to fall foul of the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations brought in by UEFA, European soccer's governing body.
(In Pics) Fulham's Brede Hangeland, left, and teammate David Stockdale celebrate their 1-0 victory after the final whistle of the English Premier League soccer match against Norwich at Craven Cottage, London. (Image credit: AP)
The two clubs face fines of up to 60 million euros ($82 million) and caps on squad size in next season's Champions League after running up excessive losses.
(In Pics) Swansea City's Andrew Taylor (right) and Cardiff City's Peter Odemwingie battle for the ball during the English Premier League match at the Cardiff City Stadium. (Image credit: AP)
Tighter financial controls have also been introduced by the English soccer authorities for all the country's 92 professional clubs, and the Deloitte study underlined the need for teams to rein in spending. Premier League clubs generated operating profit of only £82 million on revenue of £2.5 billion in 2012-13, the most recent season for which detailed figures are available, Deloitte said.