Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Deloitte says top-flight clubs can ‘look forward with optimism’ after Covid-19

Premier League clubs’ combined revenues could reach £6billion by 2023 (Mike Egerton/PA)
Premier League clubs’ combined revenues could reach £6billion by 2023 (Mike Egerton/PA)

Premier League clubs can “look forward with optimism” after new figures from Deloitte revealed combined revenues rose to £4.9billion in the first full season following the coronavirus outbreak.

Key findings from the financial company’s 31st Annual Review of Football Finance show the figure increased by eight per cent for the 2020-21 campaign, having plummeted from £5.2bn to £4.5bn the previous year in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic.

Revenues for English top-flight sides are predicted to hit £5.5bn for the 2021-22 season and £6bn 12 months later, surpassing pre-Covid levels.

According to the report, published on Thursday, there was recovery across the combined European football market, with overall revenues increasing by 10 per cent to 27.6bn euros (£23.3bn), despite an almost complete absence of fans from stadia during that period.

The majority of Premier League matches during the 2020-21 season were played without fans
The majority of Premier League matches during the 2020-21 season were played without fans (Shaun Botterill/PA)

The uplift was largely driven by deferred broadcast revenues and the success of the rearranged Euro 2020 tournament.

The ‘big five’ European leagues – the Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga, Spain’s LaLiga, Italy’s Serie A and Ligue 1 in France – grew by three per cent to 15.6bn euros (£13.2bn).

Yet the Premier League, which generated just £31million in matchday revenue, was the only one of the five divisions to see clubs improve total operating profits, which cumulatively increased from £49m to £479m.

When excluding the Premier League, total operating losses for the ‘big five’, were up from 461m euros (£389.2m) to 901m euros (£760.7m).

Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s sports business group, believes Premier League clubs have reason for financial confidence moving forward.

“At Premier League level, if you look purely at the revenue generated by the clubs then you would say that the message is overarchingly positive in terms of how they’ve come through the pandemic,” he told the PA news agency.

“Obviously it has been a shock to the overall business model of the clubs and they’ve had to adjust and work in slightly different ways.

“But as we look at the financial reports of the Premier League clubs to get through this they haven’t had to take on significant amounts of external debt, they haven’t had to hamstring themselves in ways in which maybe other clubs around Europe or some of the Championship clubs have had to.

“While there are still going to be challenges ahead, all those Premier League clubs they can now look forward with optimism for what’s to come.”

The success of the rearranged Euro 2020 tournament, won by Italy, was a factor in driving the recovery of European football markets
The success of the rearranged Euro 2020 tournament, won by Italy, was a factor in driving the recovery of European football markets (PA)

The increase in Premier League revenues is largely attributable to a reported broadcast rebate of £330m and the deferral of some television income from the 2019-20 season.

Wage costs increased by five per cent to £3.5bn in the period, while, despite decreasing from £991m to £669m, pre-tax losses remained significant, with only four clubs – Leeds, Manchester City, Sheffield United and Wolves – reporting a pre-tax profit.

Overall, Premier League clubs’ net debt increased by four per cent from 3.9bn to £4.1bn.

In the English Football League, Bridge feels “significant change” is required to ensure long-term financial sustainability for clubs.

Combined revenues in the Championship dropped by £78m to £600m, a decrease of 12 per cent which was largely due to matchday revenues falling by £150m, from £166m to £16m.

Meanwhile, net debt in the second tier grew by £433m to £1.8bn, a rise of 32 per cent.

“There now can be no doubt that significant change is required to drive long-term financial sustainability in the Championship,” said Bridge.

“Without sustained collaboration across the English football system the gap to the Premier League, the competitive advantage of clubs with parachute payments and the cycle of clubs gambling on promotion will continue to increase.”

Revenues for League One clubs fell by 22 per cent to £129m, while combined revenues in League Two dropped by four per cent to £94m.

The negative impact of the pandemic also meant average League One clubs’ wage costs of £5.5m surpassed revenue for the first time, with a wages-revenue ratio of 103 per cent.