Express & Star

Premier League clubs rack up record losses of more than £1bn

Premier League clubs lost a £1.05billion combined in the 2020-21 season, a new report has found.


Financial analysts Vysyble found Chelsea set a new record for losses in a single season since its summary work on the Premier League began in 2009 – a staggering £205.71million.

The combined loss was slightly down on the figures for the previous season, where the 20 clubs together lost £1.38bn –a record figure since 2009.

The losses in the English top flight in 2020-21 came despite combined revenue of £4.88bn, £3.34bn of which was made up of broadcast income.

Matchday revenue was £30m, the report found, a fraction of the £700m that would have been expected but for the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on attendances. Despite the lack of crowds, staff costs still rose by 5.86 per cent to £3.45bn.

Vysyble co-founder Roger Bell said: “The ‘Big Six’ clubs (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham) achieved combined economic losses of £688.76m which represents 63 per cent of the overall divisional economic loss for the year.”

Bell said Vysyble’s figures showed there was just a one in three instance of a Premier League club achieving an economic profit over the period since 2009.

The season was marked by a short-lived attempt by the ‘Big Six’ to form a European Super League, which quickly collapsed amid political pressure and fan outrage.

Bell added: “Owning a top English football club is not a profitable enterprise. Football lacks the merger and acquisition element that we commonly see in general commerce when a sector is performing poorly from a financial standpoint.

“Therefore, in football’s case, financial reform must either be operational or structural in nature. Indeed the Super League was an obvious and highly predictable expression of the latter option.

“With numbers as dire as they have been over the last two years, Super League version 2.0 is not at all inconceivable.”

Wolves were one of the few clubs to record a profit in the 2020-21 financial year. We reported in March that the club posted an £18m profit with owners Fosun writing off loans worth £126m to the club.

Villa posted losses of nearly £38m for the same financial year blaming the effects of Covid for much of the shortfall.