10 alarming stats on the financial gap between the PL’s big six and the rest

Quick Reads

While Leicester City, Wolves and Sheffield United are threatening to gatecrash the Premier League’s top six this season, the established ‘big six’ of Liverpool, Manchester United and co remain well ahead of the rest of the pack financially.

Football finance expert Swiss Ramble recently posted a fascinating thread of tweets relating to the financial disparity between the ‘big six’ of Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham and the 14 other clubs.

Thanks to his excellent work, we’ve compiled 10 remarkable stats that highlight the difference between the two sets of clubs, including alarming signs the gap is only getting wider.

– The combined matchday revenue of the Premier League’s big six in 2018-19 totalled £495million, compared to just a combined £187million for the other 14 clubs.

– Judging commercial revenue, the Premier League’s big six combined figure dwarfs that of the 14 clubs by an even greater amount. The top six generated £1.116billion in commercial revenue, compared to the remaining 14’s £295million.

– TV revenue allows the remaining 14 clubs to claw back some of the deficit, but the difference in overall revenue still stands at a combined £2.997billion for the big six, compared to a combined £2.153billion for the other 14 clubs. In other words, the big six clubs account for 58.2% of the revenue generated by Premier League clubs, while 14 other clubs make up the remaining 41.8%.

– As a result, the bottom 14 clubs are forced into a higher wages-to-turnover ratio of 68%, compared to 55% for the big six.

– While Chelsea and Arsenal made a loss after tax in 2018-19, the big six still made a combined profit of £7million, whereas the remaining 14 clubs made a combined loss after tax of £188million.

– The gap only appears to be widening: the big six have reduced their combined operating loss from £159million in 2012 to £97million in 2019. Meanwhile, the other 14 clubs’ combined operating loss has doubled from £186million to £393million in that same time.

– The rise in UEFA TV deals and commercial income saw the big six’s revenue grow by £240million year on year in 2019, over twice as much as the remaining 14’s growth of £103million.

– Two years ago, the revenue gap between the sixth and seventh biggest teams in the Premier League was £73million (Tottenham’s £306million vs Leicester’s £233million). As of 2019, the gap is now £204million (Arsenal’s £395million vs West Ham’s £191million) – the highest this figure has ever been.


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