England’s Premier League football clubs posted a combined loss of £110m in 2015/16 despite record revenues, figures from Deloitte show.
Rising costs including wage bills helped push the figure into the red after two years of profits. However, a bumper TV deal is expected to return it to the black for the current season.
Revenues increased to £3.6bn last season – up £0.2bn since the previous campaign, with Manchester United and Manchester City accounting for more than half of the rise.
United’s revenue grew to £515m, seeing them top the Deloitte Football Money League for the first time since 2003/04 as the world’s highest revenue-generating club.
But, while operating profits of the 20 clubs remained steady at £0.5bn, wage costs increased by 12% to £2.3bn and so, after two consecutive seasons of pre-tax profits, the clubs were back in loss territory.
Dan Jones, partner and head of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, blamed the loss on “a small number of one-off exceptional costs”.
He added: “We fully expect that the Premier League’s new three-year broadcast rights deal will see a return to record levels of profitability in the 2016/17 season.”
Sky and BT paid a record £5.136bn for the latest round of TV rights.