Revenue made by English football clubs tops $4.64 billion as the Premier League contributes $3.71 billion

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“She’s got an indiscreet voice,” I remarked.

“It’s full of -” I hesitated.

“Her voice is full of money,” he said suddenly.

When I think of the Premier League the above quote from ‘The Great Gatsby’ frequently pops into my head.

The league, while incredibly compelling for so many reasons, is ultimately all about money. Every time I find myself getting wound up about the game I inevitably come back to that earth-shattering realization – it’s not a game, it’s just a business.

And man, business is BOOMING.

Today it was revealed that the combined annual revenue of the 92 clubs in England’s top four divisions has eclipsed £3 billion ($4.64b) – that’s ‘b’, as is business – for the first time ever. The numbers come virtue of Deloitte’s most recent finance review from 2011-12 that shows revenue from the Premier League’s 20 clubs increased 4% to almost £2.4 billion ($3.71b), capping yet another astounding year of commercial growth.

By means of comparison, these number dwarf those of the Bundesliga (£1.58 billion ($2.44b)), La Liga (£1.4 billion ($2.16b)) and Serie A (£1.3 billion ($2.01b)). Signs did, however, indicate that the Bundesliga is fast catching up where operating profits were £161 million ($248.84m) while in the Premier League they were £98 million ($151.47m), up from £25 million ($38.64m).

Adding further intrigue to the economic efficiency of German football (or, the inefficiency of the Premier League) is that the revenue-to-wages ratio average in the Bundesliga fell to 51%, while the Premier League’s ratio hovered at 70%. Of course, in a league where clubs like Manchester City are permitted to run riot spending more than £200 million ($309.12m) on players’ salaries, this can hardly come as a shock.

Dan Jones, a senior partner at Deloitte, spoke of the Premier League’s huge boom in revenue:

The £3bn is a big stat. Likewise is the growth in the Championship itself – sometimes the Championship gets overshadowed by the Premier League. The reality is they’re both great successes. It’s just the Premier League is the bigger success.

The Championship performance is extremely strong again. It’s the biggest second-tier league in Europe by a street. No one else has a second-tier league that comes anywhere close. People are pushing very hard to get in the Premier League. What is imperative is that clubs do that in a way that is sustainable. The Football League is bringing in its financial fair play rules precisely to address that.

The Deloitte report does not cover the most recent season. With the significantly larger amount of TV broadcast revenue (£5 billion spread over three seasons) that will be coming the way of Premier League clubs beginning in 2013-14, Jones believes that while there is some uncertainty as to how team’s will react, player wages could begin to skyrocket.

The big test will be what happens to the new TV money, how much of that finds its way into the wage bill. It will also be interesting to see how the new financial regulations will affect clubs’ behavior.

Once the new TV deal kicks in I think you’ll find the total spent on players will be up at a record level. There’s no intrinsic problem with that but it’s all about spending being balanced and not being excessive to the point that it endangers the club.

How seriously the Premier League is taking phrases like “spending being balanced” and “not being excessive” will be key to the league’s continued development. While higher player wages should make England an even more desirable destination for the world’s most sought-after footballers, league officials must be concerned over whether such staggering growth is sustainable.

Regardless, it’s remarkable how far England has come since the installation of the Premier League in 1992.

What do you think?

Is this all good news or is the Premier League’s voice a bit too full of money?

Michael Bradley has strong views on Crew’s relocation

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Michael Bradley didn’t hold back when asked about the Columbus Crew potentially being relocated to Austin, Texas, by their owner Anthony Precourt.

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The captain of Toronto FC and the U.S. men’s national team had his every touch booed during TFC’s 0-0 Conference Final first leg draw at Columbus’ Mapfre Stadium on Tuesday and was asked afterwards about the uproar regarding the Crew’s possible relocation to a city over 1,200 miles away.

Bradley, 30, did not sit on the fence.

“Look, on one hand you feel for the small group of loyal supporters that they have who have been here since the beginning, who continue to support the team and come out week after week. On the other hand, you can’t deny the fact that things here have really fallen behind in terms of the atmosphere in the stadium, the quality of the stadium, what it’s like to play here,” Bradley said.

“I don’t know who’s at fault for that… there’s a lot going on, and I get that – and like I said, as an outsider I don’t know what that falls on. But again, the reality is just that as the league has continued to grow and grow – and this is not the only one, but this is one of a few markets that has not kept pace.”

Does Bradley have a point?

Looking at MLS in terms of average attendance over the past seven years since MLS expansion became rampant, Columbus’ highest average attendance was 17,125 in 2016. That was still over 4,000 below the league average, even if you believe attendance stats in MLS are vastly miscalculated in many markets with “tickets sold” included in many attendance figures.

For the 2017 regular season only Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas are drawing smaller crowds, on average, than Columbus’ average of 15,439, and there’s only a few hundred difference between those three clubs.

When you look at the somewhat recent arrivals of Seattle, Portland, Montreal, Vancouver, New York City FC, Orlando City and now Atlanta and Minnesota United into the league, you just can’t compare their strong attendance numbers with Columbus and other MLS ever-present franchises such as Colorado and Dallas.

Bradley, on one level, is spot on. There is a distinct, and obvious, difference from the clubs set up in MLS in 1996 who are still in MLS today and the stadium deals those who entered in MLS 2.0 and 3.0.

Of course, his comments will not sit well with Columbus’ fans who are fighting desperately with the #SaveTheCrew movement to keep their club in Ohio with Precourt, MLS and the City of Columbus no closer to an agreement about plans for a new stadium for the Crew in downtown Columbus.

Above all, this is about more than attendances. Plenty of MLS markets have struggled in the past, or are struggling right now, to attract new fans and many Columbus supporters believe having a new owner who has their heart set on keeping the team in the city and improving the team and situation is the key. It’s hard to blame them for wanting that and not rolling over just because their current owner wants to try something different.

This is a tricky situation to see a “winner” from, with Precourt the only one set to benefit if he successfully relocates the Crew to Austin and they become profitable and big crowds turn up.

The situation is an absolute mess and with reports suggesting only two gates were open for Columbus’ playoff game against Toronto on Tuesday to slow down fans entering the stadium, it is become an embarrassing situation for MLS, especially as it appears they had the agreement in place with Precourt for a potential relocation to Austin when he purchased the Crew in 2013.

Once again, what a mess.

Everton announce major step in bid for new stadium

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Everton is edging closer to moving away from Goodison Park, their home since 1892.

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The Toffees released a statement on Thursday saying they’ve exchanged contracts on a lease to buy the land at Bramley Moore Dock where they hope to build their new 60,000 capacity stadium.

It is believed the new stadium would cost over $400 million, while the total for regeneration work in the Bramley Moore area in north Liverpool could be over $7 billion.

The club and Liverpool City Council have worked together tirelessly to make this stadium plan a possibility after several failed attempts to build Everton a new home in the past.

Everton called it a “significant milestone” in their stadium move and added that the club “effectively now controls the land upon which a new stadium would be built.”

This is a huge moment for Everton and their owner Farhad Moshiri who has made building a new stadium his top priority since buying a 49.9 percent share of the club in February 2016.

Below are more details from the statement released by Everton, which you can read in full here.

Everton Stadium Development Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Everton Football Club) and Peel Land and Property (Ports) Limited have formally signed an agreement for the Club to lease land at Bramley Moore Dock, Liverpool Waters.

The lease, which is conditional upon gaining planning consent for the proposed new stadium and securing funding for its construction, will run for a period of 200 years at a peppercorn rent.

The signing of the agreement is a significant milestone in the project and means Everton effectively now controls the land upon which a new stadium would be built. This follows several years of searching for a new site and is the culmination of an exhaustive search across the city.

Robert Elstone, Chief Executive at Everton Football Club, said: “Clearly, this is very positive news. Gaining control of the site was essential for us to be able to move forward with the next stages of the project – finalising the funding agreement with the Council and preparing for the submission of a planning application – both of which we hope to do in the new year. I’d like to thank Peel as well as Mayor Anderson and his colleagues at the Council for their support in getting us to this point.”

The proposed new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock will be a catalyst for the £5.5bn regeneration proposals for North Liverpool which is set to be one of the largest and most transformational in the city’s history.

Premier League clubs send Thanksgiving wishes to USA

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Premier League clubs have been spending today wishing their fans and followers in the USA a Happy Thanksgiving.

That’s nice of them.

With several clubs having strong connections to the U.S. via current or past players, plus ownership groups based in the States, the bond is close between the two nations.

Here’s how plenty of PL clubs sent their wishes across the Atlantic on Thursday. And, oh yeah, have a great day everyone!


Tottenham took a look back at their Stateside trip in the summer


Everton saluted their former U.S. internationals with a moment to remember from Tim Howard


Man City went full on Fall


Arsenal kept it simple


So did Southampton, albeit with a photo of a delicious turkey in the background very tempting…


Stoke City have a strong band of American players over the years


Swansea’s American owners will have been pleased with this message


Bournemouth sent their best wishes too

Antoine Griezmann reveals desire to play in MLS

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Antoine Griezmann is being chased by the biggest clubs in Europe and is the main attacking talent for the French national team.

He just signed a new deal with La Liga giants Atletico Madrid through the 2022 season and despite Manchester United and Barcelona, among others, linked with a move for the predatory striker, nobody really knows where the Frenchman will be beyond this season.

But which league does he want to play in, for sure? Major League Soccer. Yep. That’s right.

In his new book titled “Behind a Smile: The life of the Little Prince” Griezmann says that he wants to follow in the footsteps of his idol, David Beckham, and finish his career in MLS. Griezmann also stated his love for NBA star Derrick Rose and his admiration for David Villa, captain of NYCFC.

Given the fact that Griezmann is 26 years old, it could be some time before he arrives in MLS but maybe he will do so in time to become one of Beckham’s first handful of Designated Players at his long-awaited Miami franchise?

Given the fact that whenever he discusses a potential move to Man United he cites the cold weather as an issue against the transfer, it’s likely Griezmann would want to be in a warmer climate in MLS. His good friend from their time together at Real Sociedad, Carlos Vela, is swapping Spain for Los Angeles in a few months as LAFC’s first DP.

Take your pick, Antoine. LAFC? Miami? NYCFC? LA Galaxy? Atlanta United?

I’m sure anyone would want to sign in a few years on DP-level money if you keep scoring goals like this one last night against AS Roma in the UEFA Champions League…