The latest Annual Review of Football Finance from Deloitte, the professional services firm, revealed that the Premier League was 72% larger than its nearest competitor, Germany’s Bundesliga, in the 2017-18 season.
However, the Bundesliga remained the best-attended league in Europe and, boosted by new broadcast arrangements, edged past Spain’s La Liga in revenue terms to become Europe’s second-largest football league.
Taken together, the “big five” European Leagues, which also include Italy’s Serie A and France’s Ligue 1, generated a record €15.6bn (£13.8bn) in revenues in 2017-18, up 6% on the previous season.
Premier League revenues rose 6% to £4.8bn, driven largely by UEFA distributions after five Premier League teams competed in the Champions League, Europe’s most prestigious competition. The Premier League also saw match day and commercial revenue increase 8% and 12% respectively.
Commenting on the healthy financial state of football leagues in Europe, Dan Jones, partner and head of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “European club football is in the strongest financial position that we've ever seen.
“This reflects the drive among leading clubs to generate ever greater revenues to fund success on the pitch and also the sustained efforts of UEFA to improve profitability and sustainability of clubs through Financial Fair Play and club licensing.
“While the Premier League retains its leading position financially, we expect to see other leagues continue to grow in the coming years.”
Increased revenue also mirrored record-breaking transfer market activity, with Deloitte reporting that the wages/revenue ratio at Premier League clubs soared to 59% in 2017-18.
This in turn hit Premier League operating profits, which fell 16% to £867m, although the Deloitte report noted that was still its second-highest level of profitability ever.
Meanwhile, a separate report from KPMG has named Spain’s Real Madrid as the most valuable club in Europe (€3.22bn), having overtaken England’s Manchester United (€3.2bn).
Six English teams make up the most valuable top ten, including Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, who will meet in the Champions League final in Madrid this Saturday.
Sourced from Deloitte, KPMG; additional content by WARC staff