Home Football Premier League Dominates European Football Market with Double the Revenue of La Liga in 2021-22

Premier League Dominates European Football Market with Double the Revenue of La Liga in 2021-22

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Premier League revenue

In the thrilling 2021-22 season, Manchester City edged out Liverpool by a single point to clinch the Premier League title, solidifying the Premier League’s position as the frontrunner in the European football market, according to a recent financial report by Deloitte.

The aggregate revenue of the English top tier reached an impressive £5.5 billion in 2021-22, nearly doubling that of La Liga in Spain. This remarkable achievement can be attributed to the return of fans to stadiums after the challenging period of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to a 10% revenue growth across Europe.

However, despite the revenue surge, a 15% increase in wage costs across the “big five” leagues resulted in operational profit losses. Tim Bridge, a lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, acknowledged the resilience of European football and highlighted the record-breaking matchday and commercial revenues fueled by the pent-up demand from fans after the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

Moreover, the Women’s Super League (WSL) experienced a 60% boost in club revenues even before England’s victorious campaign in the Euros, further solidifying the Premier League’s market dominance.

Premier League clubs, in particular, reported an overall revenue increase of 12% during the 2021-22 season, reaching a record-breaking aggregate revenue of £6.4 billion. Matchday revenue in the Premier League alone amounted to £763 million, representing a staggering £732 million surge from the previous season when matches were predominantly held behind closed doors due to the pandemic.

The full reopening of stadiums in August 2021 allowed for an all-time high average attendance of 39,950 spectators throughout the season, surpassing the pre-pandemic matchday revenue levels of £684 million recorded in the 2018-19 campaign.

Deloitte attributed the Premier League’s commercial revenue reaching an unprecedented £1.7 billion to the renewed enthusiasm of fans for football after the trying times of the pandemic. However, Bridge cautioned that sustainable operating and funding models, coupled with acting with integrity, should be prioritized to ensure the league’s longevity and ultimate success.

Although seven Premier League clubs reported reductions in wages, the overall wage costs, encompassing both playing and non-playing staff, increased by 6% to £192 million, marking the second consecutive year of growth. Despite wage increases being outpaced by revenue growth, the rise in operating expenses, amounting to £395 million, caused a £1 million decline in operational profit for the 2021-22 season, settling at £459 million.

However, the takeovers of Newcastle United and Chelsea by new owners significantly contributed to a 34% reduction in net debt for Premier League clubs, dropping from £4.1 billion to £2.7 billion.

Comparison among the “big five” leagues revealed that despite an 11% increase in revenues to 3.3 billion euros (£2.8 billion) for La Liga in the 2021-22 season, it remains only half of the Premier League’s revenue. Similar to other leagues, the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions primarily drove revenue growth in Spain, with top-tier clubs generating 409 million euros (£349 million) in matchday revenue, a significant increase of 353 million euros (£302 million) from 2019-20.

Germany’s Bundesliga encountered a temporary disruption mid-season when Covid-19 measures were reintroduced, but the league’s revenue still rose by 5% to reach 3.1 billion euros (£2.6 billion).

Meanwhile, Ligue 1 clubs in France witnessed the most substantial percentage growth in aggregate revenues, soaring by 26% from 412 million euros (£353 million) to a record high of 2 billion euros (£1.7 billion).

Italy’s Serie A, however, experienced a 7% decrease in aggregate revenues, totaling 2.4 billion euros (£2.1 billion), mainly due to the devaluation of domestic and international broadcast deals.

Deloitte’s Tim Bridge emphasized the critical juncture European clubs face with the introduction of UEFA’s latest financial sustainability regulations, which aim to limit spending on wages, transfers, and agents’ fees. He noted that these regulations come amidst a wave of global investment in football, posing a challenge to the established system and leaving clubs at a crossroads.

Shifting focus to the lower tiers of English football, the combined revenue of the Championship, League One, and League Two surpassed £1 billion in the 2021-22 season. The Championship experienced a 13% revenue increase, reaching £676 million, while League One and League Two witnessed substantial rises of 71% (£220 million) and 32% (£124 million) respectively.

Despite the decline in wage costs for the second consecutive year, the Championship still faces challenges as wages exceed revenue, with a wage-revenue ratio of 108%. Additionally, Championship clubs carried a significant net debt of £1.7 billion in the 2021-22 season, necessitating long-term decisions to combat the financial strains resulting from the allure of Premier League promotion.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Premier League revenue

Q: What was the revenue comparison between the Premier League and La Liga in the 2021-22 season?

A: The Premier League generated nearly double the revenue of La Liga in the 2021-22 season, with an aggregate revenue of £5.5 billion compared to La Liga’s £2.8 billion.

Q: How did the return of fans to stadiums impact revenue growth in European football?

A: The return of fans to stadiums after the Covid-19 pandemic played a significant role in revenue growth across European football. It led to record-breaking matchday and commercial revenues, driven by the pent-up demand and renewed enthusiasm of fans.

Q: What were the financial challenges faced by the Premier League despite revenue growth?

A: Despite revenue growth, the Premier League encountered a 15% increase in wage costs, resulting in operational profit losses. Additionally, there was a rise in operating expenses, and some clubs reported reductions in wages, but overall wage costs continued to increase.

Q: How did the takeovers of Newcastle United and Chelsea impact Premier League clubs’ net debt?

A: The takeovers of Newcastle United and Chelsea by new owners significantly reduced Premier League clubs’ net debt. It decreased by 34%, dropping from £4.1 billion to £2.7 billion.

Q: Which European football league experienced the highest percentage growth in aggregate revenues?

A: Ligue 1 clubs in France witnessed the highest percentage growth in aggregate revenues, with a remarkable 26% rise from 412 million euros to a record high of 2 billion euros in the 2021-22 season.

More about Premier League revenue

  • Deloitte’s Sports Business Group: Website
  • Premier League Official Website: Website
  • La Liga Official Website: Website
  • UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations: Website
  • The Championship Official Website: Website
  • Ligue 1 Official Website: Website
  • Serie A Official Website: Website
  • Bundesliga Official Website: Website

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SoccerAddict88 June 15, 2023 - 4:50 am

ligue 1 with the biggest revenue growth? impressive stuff! they’re making waves in the football world.

RedDevil4Ever June 15, 2023 - 8:08 am

great news for premier league clubs with the decrease in net debt! those takeovers helped a lot. gotta keep finances in check though.

FootballLover93 June 15, 2023 - 12:21 pm

the return of fans was a big boost for the premier league! record matchday and commercial revenues! talk about pent-up demand!

FootyFanatic June 15, 2023 - 12:40 pm

so the premier league had more revenue but also more expenses. wage costs goin up! hope the clubs can manage it well.

SoccerFan22 June 15, 2023 - 3:55 pm

wow! the premier league is killin it in terms of revenue! Double what la liga made! crazy numbers!!

SportsBizInsider June 16, 2023 - 12:03 am

Deloitte’s report shows the challenges and opportunities for European football clubs. Financial sustainability and sound financial foundations are crucial for long-term success.


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