The Times produced an excellent report last week on the finances of the 20 Premier League clubs in England, based on their finances for 2009, and this is their report we have based this article on.
We’ve put the financial statistics of the Premiership clubs into the following table, and we’ll make some comments on them.
|Club||Revenue £M||Wages £M||Profit £M||Debt £M||Wages/Revenues|
- Since these figures are for 2009 they may not reflect the extra money the three promoted sides Wolves, Birmingham and Burnley will get this season from the PL TV revenues. So we should take their figures with a pinch of salt because they may look worse than they actually are
- The sooner Michel Platini, the UEFA President, can bring in some controls on the PL clubs the better, because it looks like they are way over-spending and seem unlikely to put controls on themselves. It’s a bit like the US Banks who brought the global economy to its knees 18 months ago, and still refuse to control their greed for profits – so the US government will soon do it for them
- There are 10 clubs (half the clubs in the league) that have wages over 70% of revenues, and that’s far too high when you consider there are also other costs for each club.
- The clubs are Aston Villa, Birmingham, Blackburn, Burnley, Man City, Portsmouth, Sunderland, West Ham, Wigan and Wolves.
- Newcastle’s wages last season were about 74% of revenues – so about £74M on revenues of around £100M. Right now they are about £40M and could increase to £50M over the summer, but that will still leave
Newcastle with a wage bill that is much more reasonable at around 50% of expected revenues.
The Newcastle club will also be looking to increase the £100M in revenues they got the last season they were in the PL.
- Burnley have wages that are 118% of revenues – but again their revenues may not include the extra money they will be getting this season in the PL, since they were a promoted side.
- We’ll not even point out the great and world-famous Manchester United club are now £716M in debt, and no wonder their fans are so disillusioned with the ownership of the American Glazier family.
- Arsenal (£206.6M), Liverpool (£237) and Manchester United (£716.5M) , three of the perennial top four clubs in England, have combined debts of £1.16B.
Chelsea’s debt is listed as zero, but we think that’s only because Russian owner Roman Abramovich has forgiven his loans to the London club.
Fulham also has a debt of just over £200M.
- We believe the Arsenal debt is almost entirely for the Emirates Stadium, which was opened in July 2006, and now has a regular home gate at its capacity of 60,000, which is one reason the famous London club has increased its annual revenues to £313M.
- Expect some PL clubs to become very close to bankruptcy soon, and one of them could well be Hull City, if they don’t avoid relegation for the second season running.
Any reasonable financial person looking at these results has to be alarmed at the financial state of the clubs, and it’s nothing less than reckless financial practices being conducted by a majority of clubs in the Premiership.
The Premier league club that seems to be in most financial control is Stoke City, which has no debt and a wages to revenue ratio of 55.6%. Stoke haven’t fared too badly this season either, being in 10th place with 42 points from their 32 games.
Stole have certainly looked a much better team from last season, under the savvy management expertise of Welshman Tony Pulis, who’s been managing the Midlands club since 2006.
It’s good that Newcastle are going to keep their financial status in good standing, and we just have to hope we can still attract good players to Tyneside this summer.