The Premier League of English football and the second tier of English football the Championship, have seen wage increases that continue to exceed increase in club revenues, the latest annual report into football finance has found.

The Deloitte report has shown that salaries in the Premier League have risen to over £1.4 billion in the 2009-10 season, an increase of five percent on the previous year, with the Premier League’s wages-to-revenue ratio having reached its highest ever at 68%. The increase in spending is believed to reflect the extra finances available after the last television broadcast deal.

Chelsea are the football club with the highest player wage bill, which now totals a staggering £174 million per year, with the newly affluent Manchester City in second place at £133 million. City are believed to have increased their salary spending by an astronomical £79m over the last two seasons and are now just ahead of their neighbours and arch rivals Manchester United who spent £132m on wages last year. Twenty of the twenty two top flight teams spent more on players wages than ever before.

The concern for clubs at the top of the Premier League will be the introduction of UEFA’s financial fair play rules, which are designed to ensure clubs balance their books by spending only what they generate in revenues, failure to comply with the new rules, which will be fully effective by 2014, could เว็บยอดนิยม ufabet ultimately see the clubs banned from European competitions including the lucrative Champions League.

Clubs in the English Championship are likely to introduce their own financial rules, which will only allow teams to spend what they generate themselves in revenue, effectively mirroring the UEFA rules. The situation in the Championship is extremely worrying as a third of teams currently spend more in wages than they receive in revenue. The average wage bill in the Championship stands at 88% percent of revenues, which is on average 11% higher than the Premier League. The spending by Championship clubs is greater, by percentage, than all the other English Leagues as they strive for promotion to the lucrative Premier League.

More positively, the revenue of top flight clubs increased by two percent and now tops £2 billion for the first time and collective debt fell from £3.3 billion to £2.6 billion, although this is believed to be mainly due to equity release by some clubs. The commercial revenues of clubs are also up by a collective six percent, giving optimism for the future with UEFA’s new rules looming.

Steve Goodwin is an expert author, football fan and retailer of football souvenirs

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