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?

Lippi leads China over SKorea 1-0 in World Cup qualifier

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) Marcello Lippi earned his biggest victory since taking over as coach of China’s national soccer team, leading his squad to a 1-0 victory over South Korea on Thursday in a World Cup qualifier.

[ MORE: Shorthanded USMNT hosts Honduras as WCQ resumes ]

The coach, who led his native Italy to the World Cup title in 2006, was hired by China in October.

Yu Dabao scored the lone goal at Helong Stadium in Changsha with a header in the 34th minute, giving China only its second victory over South Korea in 32 matches.

China spent much of the second half defending with the visitors piling on the pressure. Ki Seung-yeung and Ji Dong-won both went close for South Korea but could not find a way past China goalkeeper Zeng Cheng.

South Korea has 10 points from six matches in Group A and is still on course to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. China, which last qualified for the World Cup in 2002, has five points.

Only the top two teams from the six-nation group qualify automatically. The third-place team will head to the playoffs.

CONMEBOL wrap: Brazil routs Uruguay, Messi guides Argentina past Chile

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A roundup of Thursday’s action from around CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying…

[ MORE: USMNT looks to build momentum against Honduras in WCQ ]

Paulinho‘s hat-trick helped bring Brazil back from an early deficit as the Selecao topped Uruguay, 4-1. Edinson Cavani put the hosts ahead after nine minutes from the penalty spot, but it was Paulinho that answered 10 minutes later for his first of the night. Neymar also tallied for the Brazilians, who continue to lead CONMEBOL qualifying with 30 points.

Lionel Messi scored in the first half to help lift Argentina over Chile, 1-0. The Barcelona attacker scored after 16 minutes when Angel di Maria was taken down inside the Chilean area by José Fuenzalida. Chile was held to just one shot on target throughout, and the loss leaves the reigning Copa America winners on the outside looking in at the top five.

James Rodriguez rescued Colombia on Thursday as the Real Madrid winger capitalized off of his penalty-kick rebound to give Los Cafeteros a 1-0 win over Bolivia. Goalkeeper Carlos Lampe did his best to preserve a draw for the visitors, recording six saves on the afternoon, however, it wasn’t enough to tame Colombia.

Meanwhile, Paraguay knocked off Ecuador, 2-1, behind goals from Bruno Valdez and Junior Alonso. The visitors pulled a goal back in the 70th minute when Felipe Caicedo converted from the penalty spot, but it wasn’t enough for Ecuador.

Peru battled back with two second-half goals to preserve a 2-2 draw against Venezuela on the road. The hosts got out to a 2-0 advantage before halftime when Mikel Villanueva and Romulu Otero scored for Venezuela, however, the Peruvians struck back in the second stanza to knick a point. Andre Carrillo and Paolo Guerrero scored in the 46th and 64th minutes, respectively, for Peru.


Thursday’s results

Colombia 1-0 Bolivia
Paraguay 2-1 Ecuador
Uruguay 1-4 Brazil
Argentina 1-0 Chile
Venezuela 2-2 Peru


Updated CONMEBOL table

  1. Brazil — 9-3-1 — 30 pts.
  2. Uruguay — 7-2-4 — 23 pts.
  3. Argentina — 6-4-3 — 22 pts.
  4. Colombia — 6-3-4 — 21 pts.
  5. Ecuador — 6-2-4 — 20 pts.
  6. Chile — 6-2-5 — 20 pts.
  7. Paraguay — 5-3-5 — 18 pts.
  8. Peru — 4-3-6 — 15 pts.
  9. Bolivia — 2-1-9 — 7 pts.
  10. Venezuela — 1-3-9 — 6 pts.

Ex-Disney CEO Eisner eyes English soccer club Portsmouth

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PORTSMOUTH, England (AP) Michael Eisner, the former chief executive of The Walt Disney Co., is in talks to buy English soccer club Portsmouth.

The fourth-tier club says it has entered into a 70-day exclusivity agreement with Eisner for takeover talks to take place.

Eisner wrote on Twitter: “Exciting times! Looking forward to coming over and meeting you all. Good luck against Newport County on Saturday!!”

Portsmouth, which is based on the south coast, spent beyond its means in the pursuit of glory. The team endured financial turmoil in the years following its 2008 FA Cup win, sinking from the Premier League to the fourth tier.

After entering bankruptcy protection, Portsmouth was rescued by the fans through a trust in 2013.

CONCACAF: USMNT, Trinidad & Tobago seek first points of Hexagonal

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Through two rounds of play in the Hexagonal, everything has gone according to plan for Mexico and Costa Rica.

Not so much though for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

[ MORE: Shorthanded USMNT hosts Honduras as WCQ resumes ]

While Los Ticos and El Tri currently sit in the top two positions of the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, the U.S. is left at the bottom and faces a difficult match against Honduras when play resumes on Friday night.

[ MORE: Five questions for USMNT ahead of Honduras match ]

Mexico and Costa Rica will face off at the Estadio Azteca in the second of Friday’s three slated qualifiers, and while both nations surely expect to reach the World Cup in Russia, both CONCACAF heavyweights have the opportunity to put their stamp on the group.

For Costa Rica, a victory could potentially open up a five-point gap over El Tri, while a win for Mexico would bring Juan Carlos Osorio’s side the opportunity leap over their Central American foes.

Friday’s action will kick off at 7 p.m. though when third place Panama travels to Trinidad & Tobago, who seeks its first points of the Hex. Trinidad will be led by captain Kenwyne Jones of Atlanta United as well as Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Molino, with the duo scoring a combined 39 international goals for the Soca Warriors.

Below is the schedule and current table ahead of Friday’s CONCACAF matches as the region turns its attention to Matchday 3 of the Hexagonal.


Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama — 7 p.m. ET

Mexico vs. Costa Rica — 9:50 p.m. ET

USMNT vs. Honduras — 10:30 p.m. ET (PREVIEW)


1. Costa Rica — 2-0-0 — 6 pts.
2. Mexico — 1-1-0 — 4 pts.
3. Panama — 1-1-0 — 4 pts.
4. Honduras — 1-0-1 — 3 pts.
5. Trinidad & Tobago — 0-0-2 — 0 pts.
6. USMNT — 0-0-2 — 0 pts.