Euro football is a €35bn business, Big 5 clubs account for €19.5bn

June 6 – The European football market continues to bounce back post-covid with a 16% increase in revenues in the 2022/23 season to €35.3 billion.

The latest Deloitte’s Annual Review of Football Finance once again point to the impressive health of the ‘big five’ European leagues that generated total revenue of €19.6 billion, up €2.3 billion (14%) on the previous season, and reported an aggregate operating profit (€500 million) for the first time since 2018/19.

Premier League clubs lead the way with their revenue growing by 11%, surpassing £6 billion for the first time. The average revenue per club in the English top-flight exceeded £300 million. Premier League revenue was £5.5 billion for the previous season.

At the heart of the Premier League increase was a 14% rise in matchday revenue to £867 million – the league achieved a new record average league attendance.

The Premier League also generated a £221 million year-on-year increase in commercial revenue to £2 billion and a 9% increase in broadcast revenue to £3.2 billion.

With more revenue came a 10% leap in wage costs in the Premier League to more than £4 billion for the first time. Deloitte point out that while annual wage growth was lower than revenue (£603m), rising wage costs and amortisation impacted pre-tax losses in the Premier League, which increased by 14% to £685 million.

Overall, Premier League clubs’ operating profits (excluding player trading) fell by 18% to £393m, as other operating expenses increased to c.£1.6 billion, driven in part by inflation. Net debt of clubs in 2022/23 rose from £2.7bn to £3.1bn (up £473m), largely driven by funding for infrastructure projects.

With the return of fans to stadiums, both the Bundesliga and Serie A clubs reported the highest proportional revenue growth among the big five leagues. Each league experienced a 22% increase in revenue compared to the previous season.

Bundesliga clubs generated total revenue of €3.8 billion in the 2022/23 season (€3.1bn in 2021/22),  while LaLiga also broke records in 2022/23 with its clubs achieving aggregate revenues of €3.5 billion.

Serie A club revenue totalled €2.9 billion in the 2022/23 season, a record for the league and a 22% increase on the previous season.

Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said: “The 2022 FIFA World Cup, the lifting of final COVID-19 restrictions, and the fervour of fans engaging with football has led to strong growth in the European football market in 2022/23.

“As plans and conversations continue across leagues in terms of further regulation and investment, European football is sitting at an inflection point. Football is growing into an ever more globally connected game, and this brings new challenges to maintaining competitive balance, strong governance and regulation. Leaders across the industry must provide a united front in following good governance principles to build a future for European football that fans, players, and partners across leagues can be excited for.”

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