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Revenue report warns English clubs over wages

ESPN staff
June 6, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
High wages paid to players, including the likes of QPR's Chris Samba, can affect a club's long-term sustainability © Getty Images
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Dire warnings over player salaries has followed a new report showing the combined annual revenue of the 92 clubs in England's top four divisions has eclipsed £3 billion for the first time in history.

The Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance 2013 says half the clubs in the Premier League are still making losses despite recent record revenues, with new television revenue expected to add extra pressure on clubs and how much they pay their players.

However, the report has also offered a ray of light, believing financial prudent strategies could have significant beneficial effects for top-flight and Championship clubs.

"Achieving a more sustainable balance between their costs and revenues and thereby generating more profits provides opportunities or, some might say, a culture shock for clubs," the report stated.

"Increased profitability will allow greater longer-term investment in stadia and training infrastructure, youth development and community programmes.

"It also provides funds for the acquisition of talent, as clubs in the top flight can use the self-generated funds to transfer in and retain top playing talent to strive to improve the quality of football on show."

However, despite the record haul of annual revenue, the money flowing into English clubs was quickly pumped back out, with Premier League clubs spending 70% of total turnover on player salaries.

The numbers were even worse in the Championship - 90% of all revenue laid out on wages.

"It's fair to say some Championship clubs are rolling the dice and gambling on getting into the Premier League," director in the sports business group at Deloitte, Alan Switzer said.

"The financial regulations the Football League has brought in seek to address that, and if the losses are above the allowed limit then the club will have an embargo on transfers."

The top five clubs by revenue were Manchester United (£320m), Chelsea (£261m), Arsenal (£235m), Manchester City (£231m), and Liverpool (£189m).

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