Date: 10th July 2017 at 11:50am
Written by:

Premier League clubs are hurtling towards bankruptcy due to chronic overspending, according to a new report by financial analysts Vysyble.

The report also claims the long-term implications of those losses could be a breakaway by the league’s biggest clubs and the creation of a European Super League.

Titled ‘We’re so Rich it’s Unbelievable’, the document is based on the accounts of all Premier League clubs between 2008/09 and 2015/16, the last season for which data is available.

Based on the principle of “economic profit” – the difference between revenue and costs, including the so-called “opportunity of cost” of not doing something else with your money – the report claims Premier League clubs lost £2billion in eight years.

One of the report’s co-authors, Roger Bell, said: “Financially, football is failing. Britain’s biggest football clubs are spending much, much more than they are making.

“The Premier League, and its executive chairman Richard Scudamore, should be very worried.

“Our analysis shows clubs are losing a record £876,700 every single day. Despite TV bringing in huge amounts of cash every year, it does not meet the many millions spent on players’ wages.

“Clubs needs to face reality about their dire financial situation before they can’t afford to pay the bills and some go to the wall.”

This stark warning runs counter to most recent analyses of the Premier League’s financial health, with many experts pointing to restrictions on excessive spending introduced after Portsmouth’s collapse in 2012 and the gravity-defying rise in broadcast revenues.

But Vysyble’s John Purcell told Press Association Sport he and Bell disagree with the view that football clubs are better run now than they were a decade ago.

“Most of them are spending a lot more than they’re taking in,” said Purcell.

“Across the league, clubs are losing £8.80 for every £100 they bring in, and that’s based on 2015-16. I suspect it will be more like £12-13 now. The game is facing massive financial and structural risk.”

Purcell said only five clubs made an economic profit in 2015/16, the worst performance since 2012/13, with Chelsea and Manchester City accounting for more than half of the league’s total losses over the report’s eight-year period.

The report’s findings, however, will raise eyebrows among many fans, as it ranks relegated Norwich City ahead of champions Leicester City in its ‘Profitability Index’ for 2015/16 and notes that Blackpool managed five straight years in profit as they plummeted down the league pyramid.

The report does, though, commend Burnley for their sustainable approach, point out that Leicester managed the rare feat of making a profit while winning the league and say Spurs are the most profitable club since 2008.

The real crunch for the Premier League, according to Bell and Purcell, will come when the 70 per cent three-yearly increases in domestic TV rights dry up.

Purcell said: “We’re getting to the point where the cycle of ever bigger domestic TV deals is unsustainable.

“I think we’ve had seven renewals since 1991 and they work to a formula – if we follow the trend, the next deal will have to clear £8billion.

“I don’t think there is any way BT or Sky can commit to that kind of money. OK, you can put on more live games, and we’ve seen that trend already, but ultimately dilutes the product.

“I suspect we are heading towards a European Super League where the new breed of owners, many of them from North America, can organise the type of league they know and understand: fixed squads, salary caps, big TV events.

“That is when I think the likes of Amazon, Google and Facebook would get interested in football rights.”

Bell added: “The EPL was formed to gain increased monies from broadcasting. There is nothing to stop the top six or seven clubs breaking away and joining forces with other top clubs from Italy, Spain, Germany etc, forming a European Super League and negotiating a Europe-wide or even global TV deal for many, many billions of pounds.”

Press Association Sport has asked the Premier League for its response to the survey.

  • Aside from cerebrospinal fluid, what's on your mind?

  • Hartley™ July 14, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    This year all our signings will be from the pound shop.

  • Urbane Sturgeon July 10, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    You’re killin me Aitch.

  • gloster1861 July 10, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Any club which has been paying Rooney 300k per week for the last 3 years is out of its tiny mind. United and its rivals have led us to this sorry state.

    What value is FFP in the light of this analysis? Clearly it has failed.

  • Molespur July 10, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Really enjoyed the money post today a real eye opener always felt teams were overpaying for players and there wages lukaku springs to mind recently,also don’t worry about transfer situation we don’t need to buy in anymore rubbish we have to find players better than we have without overpriced and overinflated egos,

  • AccringtonSpurs July 10, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    From an SC contributor:

    From a friend who knows the board at Everton our bid is in but Everton so pissed off with Barclay they are trying to delay it as long as possible. Dont shoot the messenger

    This tallies with other info coming out that it’s Everton holding up the deal – and they don’t want him to have a full pre season with us.

    • Harry Hotspur July 10, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      Messenger shootings are where it’s at.

  • Freund or Foe July 10, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    It`s all a bit skewed though. If the Cheats and the Mancs account for over half of the losses, both clubs who aren`t interested in profit in the short term, then the overall figures wouldn`t be that bad. I`d suggest that most owners of clubs don`t expect big profits, and most fans would be pretty pissed off if there were big profits whilst their respective teams needed improvement. Owners get their pay day when they sell.

  • Camus July 10, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    The Twitter celebrations of the return of Erik Lamela are embarrassing. Like a new signing? Out of the 4 seasons he’s been on our payroll, the guy has pretty much sat out the best part of 2 entire seasons…

    • mattspurs July 10, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      Jeez – players get injured. Rose has been out for 4 months, Kane missed a quarter of the season. Dembele missed loads of games with injury and suspension.
      An on form Lamela will be an asset and should mean the chances of Sissoko playing much smaller.

      • AccringtonSpurs July 10, 2017 at 12:53 pm

        Lamela will be gone by next summer.

      • Camus July 10, 2017 at 1:10 pm

        2 things:- 4 months or 3 months is not the same as the best part of 2 seasons. Secondly, Sissoko won’t be with us by September.

        • MysteriousStranger July 10, 2017 at 1:51 pm

          Hope you moaned as loudly during Ledley’s last five seasons.

          • gloster1861 July 10, 2017 at 2:05 pm

            What a player, a one legged wonder!

            • MysteriousStranger July 10, 2017 at 3:25 pm

              When he was available.

      • modricbigtoe July 10, 2017 at 1:50 pm

        and we still finished 2nd and made a profit and have half a magnifico new stadium

      • gloster1861 July 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm

        We bought him when he was carrying a long term injury to start with. ENIC screwed up with this one.

  • SpurAndy 🍒π July 10, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    “Spurs are the most profitable club since 2008.”
    He’s one of our own, he’s one of our own. Daniel Levy, he’s one of our own! 😂

  • modricbigtoe July 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    That was good news for us/thfc in that sea of doom article, so that’s a big well done to Levy. To think we have been commercially, in the real world, the best run club in the league since 2008 and in that same time period no doubt one of the very best in improving it’s league position A big does of the clap is in order I think. Clap of the applause type to Levy and the other type of clap to his detractors.

  • is Gascoigne gonna have a crack? July 10, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    That was always going to be the end game. Super league.

  • Superspoz 🔪 July 10, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Tay, tay, tay, tay, t-t-t-tay-tay, tay, tay
    Take or leave us only please believe us
    We are never gonna be sustainable

    Like us, hate us, but you’ll never change us
    We are never gonna be sustainable (sustainable , sustainable , sustainable , sustainable)

    • modricbigtoe July 10, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Vote Green

  • PochJob July 10, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    A European super league would be unsustainable.

    • Freund or Foe July 10, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Check rugby for further details.

    • gloster1861 July 10, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      Great, just when we’re trying to beat Arse, ManUre and the rest, we’ll now have to compete with Bayern and Real as well!

  • caveman July 10, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    When the likes of Rooney can command a salary of £300k a week that’s unsustainable. Arsenal are paying wages of £240k to their two top individuals, that’s unsustainable. Man City are also paying KIngs ransoms and Chelsea. It ruins any player that signs for any of them as, when they get sold and have to move on they have a very limited choice of clubs that will pay them a ‘like’ salary.
    Result = the beginning of the end of the Premiership.

  • SpurAndy 🍒π July 10, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Woe is me, woe is me, I knew we were gonna do a Leeds! 😵😵😵

  • Sexy Beast July 10, 2017 at 11:58 am

    We could win the league by default if the rest go under 👍👌

    • gloster1861 July 10, 2017 at 2:04 pm

      That’s not a good way to win. Last man standing in a league of one club.