MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Premier League clubs enjoyed record profits and revenues in the 2016/17 season according to data released on Friday by Deloitte, who expect profitability to continue despite a decline in domestic broadcasting revenue.
The combined revenues of Premier League clubs increased by nearly 1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) to a record 4.5 billion pounds in the 2016/17 season.
The collective pre-tax profit of 0.5 billion pounds was almost three times the previous record of 0.2 billion in 2013/14, reported Deloitte.
Deloitte found that wage costs across the league rose by nine percent to 2.5 billion pounds, a new record, but noted that growth was significantly slower than the 25 percent increase in overall revenue.
“As predicted last year, the Premier League’s three year broadcast deals which came into effect in the 2016/17 season helped drive revenue to record levels,” said Dan Jones, head of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.
Deloitte’s analysis found that Premier League clubs have collectively made a pre-tax profit in three out of the last four years.
Deloitte expects that trend to continue despite a fall in income from domestic television deals for the three years from the 2019/20 season.
In 2015, Sky and BT smashed forecasts by paying a record 5.14 billion pounds to show matches featuring the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, as they battled for pay-TV and broadband subscribers.
The two companies, however, will pay a reduced 4.46 billion pounds for 160 games a season in the latest three-year rights packages.
The Premier League hopes revenue from international rights deals will continue to increase.
“Despite the lack of growth in domestic broadcast deals announced to date, we still expect to see overall revenue growth in the coming seasons, and if this is complemented with prudent cost control, we expect that pre-tax profits will be achieved for the foreseeable future,” added Jones.
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Toby Davis