Premier League finances soar on back of media money
According to BBC Sport, English Premier League clubs achieved record revenues and profits in 2013-14, as increased TV monies and Financial Fair Play rules took effect.
The annual report from analysts Deloitte says combined revenues soared by 29% to £3.26bn, and the clubs made pre-tax profits of £187m, the first since 1999.
It may mark a turning point in football finance and "a new age" of significant profitability for top clubs, they said.
League revenues were more than in Spain and Italy's top divisions combined.
And England's top division also generated in excess of £1bn more in revenues than its nearest rival, Germany's Bundesliga.
As well as record pre-tax profits, operating profits increased by £532m - a huge 649% - to £614m, and smashing the previous record by nearly £430m.
"The transformation of Premier League club profitability will fuel even greater global investor interest in Premier League clubs," said Dan Jones, head of Deloitte's Sports Business Group.
"With significant future revenue growth already secured through the recently agreed domestic broadcast rights deals from 2016-17 to 2018-19, as well as the success of cost control regulations, the risks associated with investment in Premier League clubs seem to be diminishing."
Broadcasting revenue accounted for 54% of the league's total revenue, the highest proportion from any revenue stream in the history of the division.And the broadcasting bonanza is to continue, with the deals commencing in 2016-17 "already confirmed to be 70% higher than the current deal".
Meanwhile, Mr Jones said that Financial Fair Play "could be the most significant development in the football business since the Bosman ruling. Early signs are that this is the case.
"Indeed the change in club profitability in 2013-14 was more profound than anything we could have forecast".
Uefa president Michel Platini
And the league's wages to revenue ratio - always a concern - fell dramatically from 71% to 58%, the lowest since 1998-99.
Mr Jones said that with the Uefa Financial Fair Play requirements continuing and the Premier League's own Short Term Cost Control measure currently in force for 2014-15 and 2015-16, the wages to revenue ratio should remain close to or below the 60% threshold.
However, he said that while the Premier League was in "rude financial health", that had not been translated into Champions League success, with no team in the final since Chelsea's victory in 2012.
PREMIER LEAGUE FINANCES 2013-14
- Club revenues ranged from £433m (Manchester United) to £83m (Cardiff City)
- Combined broadcast revenue up by 48%
- Commercial revenue rose by £135m to £884m
- Matchday revenues increased by 5% to £616m
- Net debt was down by 6% to £2.4bn
- Club wage bills increased by 7%
- 19 of the 20 clubs made an operating profit
- 14 of the 20 made a pre-tax profit
- The first season since 2004/05 in which no new stadiums opened
- Man City led capital spending - £94m on the Etihad and its football academy
- Total owner investment at both Chelsea and Man City topped £1bn at each since their respective takeovers