Surging Premier League wages ‘dent profits’

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney is one of the highest paid players in the Premier League with a weekly salary of £300,000 ($426,000)

Paris (AFP) – England’s Premier League clubs scored record sales last season, a survey showed Friday, but their profits took a hit from player salaries that reached $2.8 billion.

It was nevertheless a strong year, giving the top flight clubs a “significant advantage” over most of the rest of Europe in luring new talent, said a study released by professional services group Deloitte.

With record-breaking combined revenues of  £3.4 billion (4.3 billion euros/$4.8 billion), the Premier League posted a second straight year of profits in 2014/15, the first such double since 1999, according to Deloitte.

Pre-tax profits still took a knock, though, skidding to nearly £120 million from £190 the previous season. The culprit was a six percent rise in wage costs, which hit a record £2 billion ( $2.8 billion/2.5 billion euros.

“Premier League clubs now enjoy a significant revenue advantage over all but a handful of the biggest clubs from elsewhere in Europe,” said Andrew Bull, consultant at Deloitte’s sports business group.

“This has earned the Premier League clubs a huge and self-perpetuating advantage over continental peers in terms of attracting playing talent.”

Last season, Chelsea usurped Manchester United and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League’s wage bill chart, according to annual figures released in January by Britain’s registrar of companies.,

Chelsea, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, reported a total wage bill of £215.6 million, a rise of £25 million, it said.


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