Buoyant Uefa TV income helped Premier League clubs’ revenues rise 9% to a record £3.6bn in the 2015-16 season, according to analysis from Deloitte.
It says broadcast earnings of £1.9bn accounted for more than half of the top flight clubs’ total revenues.
A new domestic TV deal which kicked in last year means overall revenues continue to grow strongly, it added.
For a third straight season, clubs’ combined operating profits exceeded £500m, but wages rose 12% to £2.3bn.
“Even in the final year of its old broadcast contracts, Premier League revenues continued to set new records,” said Dan Jones, partner in Deloitte’s sports business group, which has unveiled its latest Annual Review of Football Finance.
He said the broadcasting boost to revenues in 2015-16 was mainly down to European federation Uefa increasing its payments to Premier League clubs by £100m.
‘Profitability to come’
Mr Jones said Premier League clubs were now reaping the benefit of a new broadcast rights cycle which started in 2016-17, plus new commercial agreements, and match day revenue growth from new and expanded stadia.
Deloitte says it now expects total Premier League clubs’ revenues to be more than £4.5bn in 2017-18.
Meanwhile, Premier League net debt fell for the third consecutive season, by £125m (5%) to £2.2bn at the end of the 2015-16 season.
However, while Premier League clubs returned to a collective pre-tax loss in 2015-16. Deloitte said this was the result of exceptional, or one-off, accounting adjustments, without which clubs collectively would have broken even.
One example of these one-off adjustments was Chelsea making a big financial provision to cover the cost of the early cancellation of their kit deal with Adidas.