English Premier League

English clubs’ financial power detailed in UEFA review of $25BN European football economy

The financial power of English football was detailed in a UEFA report Thursday analyzing the record 24 billion euros ($25.75 billion) economy of top-tier clubs across Europe.

The 20 Premier League clubs’ total revenue of 6.5 billion euros ($7 billion) in 2022 was almost equal to the next two richest leagues combined — Spain’s La Liga and Germany’s 18-team Bundesliga each had about 3.3 billion euros ($3.54 billion).

Those 20 Premier League clubs combined had as much revenue as all 642 clubs in the 50 countries outside the big five leagues of England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France, UEFA said.

Closing the gap on English clubs’ spending power had been cited in 2021 as a reason why clubs in Spain and Italy pushed hardest for the breakaway Super League project that failed.

UEFA’s annual review of club finances suggested the industry has recovered from “lingering pandemic impacts” of the COVID-19 outbreak that shut down European football in 2020.

It predicted total revenue topping 26 billion euros ($27.9 billion) in the 2023 financial year fueled by broadcast deals, commercial sponsorships and ticket sales.

The top 20 revenue-earning clubs are set to get almost half that income in European football and about half of those clubs are likely to be English.

English clubs also accounted for 764 million euros ($820 million) of the collective pre-tax losses of 3.2 billion euros ($3.43 billion) by European clubs in 2022.

Still, UEFA said it saw positive signs from the first financial reports posted by clubs in 2023 with wage inflation slowing.

UEFA noted American investors’ continuing “appetite for investment in European clubs,” and they were involved in seven of the 15 foreign takeovers at top-division European clubs in 2023.


Clubs with most revenue were the two Spanish giants and two state-backed clubs.

Real Madrid led with 841 million euros ($902 million); Abu Dhabi-backed Manchester City, the Champions League winner, had 836 million euros ($897 million); Barcelona was on 815 million euros ($874 million); Qatar-backed Paris Saint-Germain had 807 million euros.

PSG was the most expensive team to watch, according to UEFA. The average matchday spend by fans on tickets and hospitality prices was 140 euros. Only Juventus and Tottenham also had fans paying average matchday prices above 100 euros.


Nine of the top-20 earning clubs in Europe by revenue were English, including Brighton which had income of 264 million euros. That was just 13 million euros less than Serie A champion Napoli.

The 20 English clubs collectively ranked No. 1 in Europe for most revenue, most domestic broadcast rights sales, most UEFA prize money from European competitions and most matchday ticket revenue. Spain ranked second in most metrics.

The average revenue of a Premier League club – 323 million euros – was almost 10 times more than the average club in the seventh-richest league, the Netherlands.

The money flowing into England fuels its popularity with international investors and so it ranked No. 1 in Europe with 16 of the 20 clubs having “at least one foreign shareholder.” It was seven of 20 clubs in Spain.


English clubs had almost 2 billion euros of commercial revenue — including sponsorship, stadium use, merchandise sales, international tours — of the record 7.8 billion euros total across Europe in 2022. That was a 14% collective rise on 2021.

UEFA said 17 of the 20 main sponsors of Premier League clubs were from outside England and eight had headquarters in Asia.

“This reinforces the visibility of the Premier League globally and the desire for investment from global companies,” UEFA said, adding sponsorships and commercial revenues are “the largest financial differentiator between the very top clubs and the rest.” Man City’s 401 million euros of commercial revenue was the most, edging Barcelona.

UEFA noted that, beyond clubs with global brands, German clubs had the highest median income of commercial income as they excel at working in local markets.

UEFA created a new ranking table for revenues just from kit sponsorship and merchandise sales — “probably as good a measure of club popularity as any measure,” it said. It was one in which Man City’s status dropped.

Barcelona led that list with 179 million euros followed by Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Liverpool at No. 4 was best of the English clubs with 132 million euros. Man City was sixth among the English and No. 11 overall, earning 73 million euros.

That top 20 list included clubs with historically passionate fan bases including Ajax, Celtic, Leeds, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce.


Wage bills for players and staff amounted to 16.9 billion euros across Europe – a rise of 6%.

Barcelona had the biggest total wage bill at 639 million euros . The club later could not work a deal within Spanish league rules to sign Lionel Messi, who instead joined Inter Miami.

Barcelona’s wage-to-revenue ratio – a key metric when UEFA evaluates clubs’ sustainability – was 78% and the highest among top Champions League clubs. It was 90% at Everton, which faces two Premier League penalties for breaching financial rules.

UEFA pointed to “unsustainable” wage-to-revenue levels of 89% among French clubs and 83% at Italian clubs.

Man City’s total wage bill of 554 million euros was 29% more than the next highest in the Premier League at Liverpool.

For player wages alone, PSG had the highest total of 529 million euros in a year when it still employed Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar.

Man City’s 389 million euros spending on player wages was more than double the 188 million euros spend at Arsenal, its closest rival in the Premier League title race last year.

UEFA cited performance bonuses paid at Man City, the champion of Europe and England, and La Liga winner Barcelona for driving up the overall spend.

Liverpool had a 304 million euros player wage bill while Man United’s total of 249 million euros ranked No. 8, down from No. 4 in 2022 when Cristiano Ronaldo was at the club.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *