By David Owen
June 2 – Aggregate revenues of clubs in the Big Five European leagues are expected to exceed €15 billion by the end of next season due in part to the new cycle of Premier League TV deals, according to the latest Annual Review of Football Finance just published by Deloitte, the professional services firm.
This would be up from €11.3 billion in 2013-14 and €12 billion in 2014-15.
The size of the European football market in total is projected to exceed €25 billion in 2016-17. In addition to England’s Premier League, the Big Five consist of Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A and France’s Ligue 1.
Focusing on 2014-15, the period chiefly covered by the report, while England’s top tier enjoyed a second straight year of strong profitability, the only one of the Big Five to actually lift operating profits compared to a year earlier was the Bundesliga.
Combined profits of Germany’s top clubs hit a record €316 million, still less than half the equivalent Premier League total of €718 million. Operating profits by clubs in La Liga dropped from €347 million to €264 million, while both Ligue 1 and Serie A cut operating losses – the French league from €140 million to €35 million, its Italian counterpart from €143 million to €133 million.
With aggregate wage expenditure across the Big Five climbing by 10%, to €7.4 billion, the widely-watched wage:turnover ratio remained relatively stable in all five countries, ranging from 52% in Germany to 72% in Italy.
At €2.67 billion, the wage bill incurred by Premier league clubs amounted to more than that paid by their Bundesliga and La Liga counterparts combined, underlining England’s current advantage when it comes to attracting the most expensive talent, with the new broadcasting rights deal valued at almost £3 billion per season about to click in.
In terms of stadium utilisation, the Premier League and Bundesliga were far ahead of the other three in 2014-15, clocking up figures of 96% and 90% respectively. The French and Spanish leagues both managed 71%, with Serie A bringing up the rear with just 52%.
Average match attendance was an impressive 42,685 in the Bundesliga, 36,163 in the Premier League and between 21,000 and 26,000 in the other three.
As already calculated by insideworldfootball (http://www.insideworldfootball.com/2016/05/05/suarez-sends-liverpool-top-2014-15-premier-league-profits-table/), aggregate pre-tax profits generated by Premier League clubs exceeded £120 million for a second straight year.
Net debt at Premier League clubs stood at £2.4 billion at the end of 2014-15, unchanged from a year earlier.
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