‘The first billion-pound game’
The Premier League will witness its first ‘billionpound game’ tomorrow when Manchester United visit Arsenal, according to financial analysts Vysyble. The claim is based on the combined turnover of the two rivals, with Arsenal posting revenues of £424m (€481) in 2016/17 while United earned a record £581m (€660), taking the clubs’ total to £1.05bn (€1.13 bn). For both clubs, these numbers were doubledigit percentage increases on 2015/16.
In a statement, Vysyble’s Roger Bell said: “This is a remarkable achievement for the Premier League in terms of reflecting the success in driving revenues via lucrative TV rights deals.” Bell, however, points out the huge sums coming into the top flight do not translate into profits.
All Premier League clubs spend huge sums on transfer fees and wages and this eats into end of business year profits considerably.
Vysyble also believes the clubs — and many financial analysts — fail to take into account the true cost of doing business and are actually running up economic losses.
“This is part of a longer-term trend whereby clubs in general are finding it very difficult, despite their record revenue levels, to generate value and achieve an economic profit, which is where all the costs of doing business are accounted for, including taxes,” he said. However, Arsenal’s and Manchester United’s economic losses are relatively “modest”, according to Bell, at £4.2m (€4.8m)and £16.3m (€18.5m), respectively.