Premier League football clubs have hit a record £3.26bn (€4.43bn, $5bn) in revenue, towering over the second highest grossing league, Germany's Bundesliga, which was valued at £1.7bn.
The impact of the first year of a new broadcast rights cycle for 2013/14 fulled the 29% rise in Premier League clubs' revenue from 2012/13, according to the 24th Annual Review of Football Finance from the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.
Premier League teams were able to report a collective pre-tax profit of £187m, the first time since 1999 that Europe's richest league has been able to report in the black as 15 of the 20 teams made a profit.
The £5.5bn television deal was the driving force behind England's increasing fortune with Deloitte reporting that TV revenues "were worth €171m more than the total revenues of the member clubs of La Liga, €405m more than Serie A clubs and €606m higher than Ligue 1." However, the report also highlights how Uefa's Financial Fair Play rules have also benefitted European football.
Dan Jones, head of Deloitte's Sports Business Group, said: "The transformation of Premier League club profitability will fuel even greater global investor interest in Premier League clubs.
"With significant future revenue growth already secured through the recently agreed domestic broadcast rights deals from 2016-17 to 2018-19, as well as the success of cost control regulations, the risks associated with investment in Premier League clubs seem to be diminishing."
Moving down England's League structure, the report doesn't look as pretty for Championship teams. Despite reporting a £54m jump in revenue to £491m for its 24 clubs, there was a pre-tax loss of £247m as owners invest heavily in a bid for promotion.
Adam Bull, senior consultant in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: "Whilst the desire of individual clubs to reach the promised land of the Premier League is understandable, and heightened given the value of the new broadcast deals.
"The Football League is right to try and ensure this is not at the expense of the long-term sustainability of any club."
Across the continent and Spain's top flight teams reported a rise in revenue of 3%. However, this was solely driven by Real and Atletico Madrid with all the other 18 clubs' aggregate revenues down on the previous year. Revenue in Italy's Serie A grew by just 1% and PSG drove France's Ligue 1 revenue up 15%.
Other key findings of the report include:
- The 'big five' European leagues' combined revenues rose by 15% to €11.3bn in 2013/14, with the Premier League more than €1.6bn higher than the next-highest revenue-generating league, Germany's Bundesliga, which generated €2.3bn;
- The Premier League surpassed the Bundesliga as Europe's most profitable league. Clubs in France's Ligue 1, by contrast, generated a combined operating loss of €140m, €137m worse than 2012/13;
- Manchester United generated an all-time record operating profit of £117m, whilst Tottenham Hotspur recorded the highest-ever pre-tax profit, of £80m;
- Despite no new stadia opening for the first season since 2004/05, capital expenditure by English football's 92 league clubs totalled £280m, representing the highest-ever level of investment in stadia and facilities;
- Total transfer expenditure for the 92 English League clubs in 2013/14 topped £1bn for the first time, a record which has already been surpassed by transfer activity in the 2014/15 season;
- Premier League clubs reduced their aggregate level of net debt by 6% to £2.4bn, (of which over two-thirds is non-interest bearing) benefitting from an increase in cash balances. Nine clubs improved their net debt/funds position over the course of the season, with Arsenal, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur responsible for a combined reduction of £205m in net debt;
- Total owner investment at both Chelsea and Manchester City topped £1bn at each club since their respective takeovers;
- The Government's tax take from the top 92 professional football clubs in 2013/14 was around £1.4bn.