The Premier League generated far more revenue than any other league in Europe in 2013-14, bringing in £1.4billion more than its nearest rival the German Bundesliga.
Total income for the English top flight for 2013-14 was put at £3.26billion by financial services firm Deloitte in its annual review of football finance, dwarfing the overall revenue generated by clubs in the Bundesliga, Spain’s Primera Division, the Italian Serie A and France’s Ligue 1.
Television income remained the key driver of the Premier League’s huge revenues, with Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, saying: “The impact of the Premier League’s broadcast deal is clear to see.
“Broadcast income increased by £569million in 2013-14, accounting for 78 per cent of the overall growth in revenue in the Premier League. Continued growth in both commercial and matchday revenue helped Premier League clubs’ combined revenues reach £3.26billion - a staggering increase of £735million compared with the season before.
“In 2013-14 even the Premier League club receiving the least from domestic league broadcast distributions earned more from this source than all but five other European clubs.
“Following recent announcements of commercial deals for a host of the largest clubs, we expect the Premier League to surpass the Bundesliga in commercial revenue terms and hence lead the world in all three key revenue categories from 2014-15.”
With a new domestic television rights deal worth a combined £5.3billion due to come on stream in 2016 - and with more to come from overseas rights - the world’s richest league is set to get wealthier as it continues to outstrip its rivals.
Another consequence of the increased TV revenue was that it pushed down the wages-to-turnover ratio at England’s top-flight clubs.
Twelve months ago analysts at Deloitte warned against “reckless” spending as the ratio topped 70 per cent for the first time.
However, following the first year of a new television deal, and clubs continuing to adjust to Financial Fair Play regulations, that figure fell to 58 per cent - the lowest level since the 1998-99 season. Thirteen of the 20 Premier League clubs in 2013-14 had wages-to-revenue ratios at 60 per cent or lower, compared to just one the previous year.
Total Premier League wages rose by £119million to £1.9billion in 2013-14, a seven per cent increase against a 29 per cent leap in revenue - the first time since 2007-08 that wage costs have increased at a slower rate than revenue.
“Premier League clubs showed relative restraint in terms of wage costs, with less than 20 per cent of their revenue growth being absorbed by wage costs,” Jones added.
Overall wages-to-revenue ratio across the big five European leagues fell to 59 per cent, its lowest level since 1999-2000.
However, chasing the Premier League riches does have its drawbacks as wages for Championship clubs exceeded £500million for the first time, rising by £56million to £518million in 2013-14, a 12 per cent increase.
Over the same period revenue rose by £54million to £491million (also 12 per cent) but the wages-to-revenue ratio was at 105 per cent, the second consecutive season with a ratio of over 100 per cent and only the third occasion that this has been recorded in English football.
On the positive side, 2014 represented the first calendar year since 1996 in which there were no insolvency events in the Football League, which suggests recently-introduced financial fair play regulations are causing clubs to live within their means.