Premier League clubs post first pre-tax profit for 15 years

Financial experts Deloitte have released a report that shows Premier League clubs have posted a first combined pre-tax profit since 1999.

Premier League clubs have posted a combined pre-tax profit for the first time in 15 years, according to a report released on Thursday.

The figures for the 2013-14 season show clubs made a profit of £190million, dwarfing the previous record of £49m set in 1997-98 and in stark contrast to the £2.6billion of pre-tax losses accumulated over the past decade.

In terms of operating profit, which excludes player trading, net interest charges and the amortisation of player contracts, clubs raked in £620m - three times the previous record of £185m, seven-and-a-half times the £82m achieved in 2012-13 and more than the previous six seasons combined.

The report was compiled by financial experts Deloitte, with Sports Business Group partner Dan Jones explaining: "Last season was the first in the Premier League's current three-year broadcast deal, which was a record breaker when it was struck

"Combined with strong commercial growth at the highest revenue-generating clubs, this has boosted Premier League revenue 29 per cent to a record £3.3bn. However, despite this extra income, clubs showed relative restraint in wage costs, which grew by six per cent to £1.9bn.

"In the first year of the preceding two broadcast deals, 56 per cent and 81 per cent of respective revenue growth was absorbed by wage costs. This time it is less than 20 per cent.

"Over the previous 10 seasons wages grew by around nine per cent per year, which is higher than the average annual revenue growth of seven per cent over that period, demonstrating further what a remarkable turnaround the 2013-14 figures represent."

Senior consultant Adam Bull suggested the introduction of UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations could be behind the upturn.

"The introduction of cost control regulations at both a European and domestic level has caused many clubs to watch their spending more closely than ever before and created a useful tool for clubs to reduce the inflationary pressures during negotiations with players and agents. 

"Also, the current broadcast deal has given Premier League clubs such a large revenue advantage over the vast majority of European clubs that they can still attract the top playing talent without over stretching themselves financially."

Jones concluded: "The primary aim of a football club is, and always should be, on-pitch success for the fans. However, we do welcome these results, which show that the Premier League clubs are starting to convert their impressive revenue growth into a more sustainable net result.

"With the recent announcement of another record Premier League broadcast deal, the revenue increases show no sign of ending and should make this season’s profit a regular outcome."