Premier League news

Premier League wages rise, losses fall

April 19, 2013
By ESPN staff

Accounts for the 22 Premier League clubs released this week have shown the total wage bill stands at £1.6 billion, a sum that has risen by over 6% year-on-year for the past three seasons, but fewer clubs are now running at a loss.

Carlos Tevez goal Man City v Wigan
GettyImagesCarlos Tevez is thought to be the league's highest paid player on £198,000-a-week

Since 2009-10, wages have risen by £0.1 billion each season, which - while still a huge proportion of clubs' expenditure - does indicate a level of stability, especially when clubs enjoyed greater revenues from a new TV deal after 2010. Clubs also spent £77 million on agent fees between October 2011 and September 2012.

Overall debt has also fallen over the period, down from £484 million to £205 million, with Manchester City reducing their losses of £197 million in 2011 to £99 million.

The Guardian's 2011-12 report of Premier League clubs' finances shows that 12 of the 20 Premier League clubs are still running at a loss but, considering in 2009-10 there were 16 clubs in the red, there appears to be a gradual move to a more sustainable business model.

Manchester City unsurprisingly have the highest wage bill in the Premier League, paying out £202 million-a-year to their players and staff. Chelsea are the second highest spenders, with a wage bill of £173 million. That is in stark contrast to Swansea City, who spend around £35 million on wages and whose latest accounts showed a profit of £15 million.

Player wages as a proportion of turnover have remainded at just over two thirds, from 68% in 2009-10 to 69% in 2010-11, before dropping to 67% in 2011-12.

With the new TV deal due to start for the 2013-14 season, which sees a 70% rise in revenues from UK broadcasters, clubs have agreed to limit the amount their wage bills can increase over the next three seasons: £4 million in 2013-14, £8 million in 2014-15 and £12 million in 2015-16.

Parachute payments to relegated clubs will also rise sharply from next season.