Annual Review of Football Finance

Middle East edition

The 2013/14 season’s financial results for the Premier League are the most remarkable in over 20 years of compiling our Annual Review, which documents the business and commercial performance of English professional football as well as a selection of the top leagues across Europe.

Our first football finance report was produced in June 1992, a couple of months ahead of the start of the inaugural Premier League season. For more than 20 years we have documented clubs’ business and commercial performance, striving to provide the most comprehensive picture possible of English professional football’s finances, set within the context of the regulatory environment and the wider European game.

The Sports Business Group at Deloitte provides an in-depth analysis of football’s finances in its 52 page full report, which includes:

Europe’s premier leagues

Scale of the overall European football market; Comprehensive data and analysis of trends for clubs in the ‘big five’ leagues including revenue breakdowns, wage costs, operating results, and match attendances; Factors impacting on clubs’ future revenues; Key financial indicators for six more European leagues.

Industry insights

Our perspectives on six topics facing football, including the reasons for continued interest from investors in English football clubs, the challenge of the Europa League, the importance of measuring player academy success, the development of the Indian Super League, the continued strength of premium sports rights and the increased involvement of Middle Eastern investment in football.


The full report, incorporating a pull-out Databook, includes over 8,000 data items, prepared on the basis of our unique and long-established methodologies.

The following sections of the full report include comprehensive data and analysis of the business drivers and financial trends for clubs in the top four divisions of English football, with a particular focus on Premier League and Championship clubs. The analysis covers through to the end of the 2013/14 season and we also include some pointers to future financial results.

Revenue and profitability

Analysis of matchday, broadcasting and commercial revenue streams; Revenue projections to 2016/17; The financial impact of participation in UEFA club competitions, promotion and relegation; Operating results and pre-tax profits and losses; Average attendances and stadium utilisation in the Premier League and Football League.

Wages and transfers

Analysis of clubs’ total wage costs; The relationship between revenue growth and wage costs; Club-by-club analysis of wage costs including rankings, comparison to on-pitch performance, and wages to revenue ratios; Estimated total player wages; Cost control regulatory developments; Player transfer spending; Transfer flows between the top four divisions and to agents.

Club financing and investment

Analysis of the sources of net debt financing, profiling the aggregate net debt position of Premier League and Championship clubs, as well as an analysis of the top ten clubs; Capital investment by clubs in the top four English divisions over the five years to 2013/14, with a focus on the clubs with the highest levels of investment in 2013/14.


Download the report

Key findings

The key findings from this year's Annual Review are shown below. You can also download our report highlights.

Europe's premier leagues

  • Cumulative revenues of the ‘big five’ European leagues rose by 15% to €11.3 billion in 2013/14.
  • All five leagues reported record revenues for the third successive season, but the gap between the ‘big five’ leagues and other leading European leagues continued to widen.
  • The overall wages/revenue ratio fell to 59% across the ‘big five’ leagues, its lowest level since 1999/00.
  • Within the story of revenue growth across European football, stakeholders from the Middle East continued to play an important role in 2013/14, both from an ownership and sponsorship perspective. 

Revenue and profitability

  • Record Premier League revenue of £3.26 billion represented a £735m (29%) increase on 2012/13, due to 2013/14 being the first year of the current broadcast rights packages.
  • Premier League clubs generated record operating profits of £614m with 19 of the 20 clubs in the division recording an operating profit.
  • Championship revenue increased by 12% to a record of £491m, driven by an increase in parachute payments.

Wages and transfers

  • The overall Premier League wages/revenue ratio fell dramatically to 58%, its lowest level since the 1998/99 season.
  • Total Championship wage costs exceeded £500m for the first time, with the wages/revenue ratio over 100% for the second consecutive season.
  • Total transfer spending across all 92 English league clubs exceeded £1 billion for the first time in 2013/14.

Financing and investment

  • Premier League clubs’ aggregate net debt reduced to £2.4 billion in 2014, with record levels of cash now present in balance sheets.
  • Championship clubs’ aggregate net debt increased to £1.1 billion at summer 2014.
  • At £280m, the overall level of capital expenditure by England’s 92 professional clubs in 2013/14 was the highest of all time.

The view from Deloitte

“The impact of the Premier League’s broadcast deals is clear to see. Broadcast income increased by £569m in 2013/14, accounting for 78% of the overall growth in revenue in the Premier League. Continued growth in both commercial and matchday revenue helped Premier League clubs’ combined revenues reach almost £3.3 billion.”

Dan Jones, Partner, Deloitte Sports Business Group

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