LONDON, June 25 — The Premier League underlined its financial muscle as the European football market grew by 16 per cent to €35.3 billion (RM178.4 billion) in the 2022/23 season, according to Deloitte.

The “big five” European leagues generated total revenue of €19.6 billion, up 14 per cent on the previous campaign, and reported an aggregate operating profit (€0.5 billion) for the first time since 2018/19.

Coffers were boosted by the lifting of all remaining coronavirus restrictions and the 2022 Fifa World Cup, held in Qatar, according to the Annual Review of Football Finance published by the Deloitte Sports Business Group.

Revenue growth in the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1 was driven by various factors including an uptick in matchday revenue and sponsorship deals.

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Premier League clubs’ revenue grew 11 per cent to top £6 billion for the first time, registering aggregate revenue of £6.1 billion (US$7.75 billion).

Net debt in the English top flight in 2022/23 rose from £2.7 billion to £3.1 billion, largely driven by funding for infrastructure projects.

Clubs in the Bundesliga and Serie A recorded the largest average percentage growth over the previous season — 22 per cent in each case.

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Bundesliga clubs generated total revenue of €3.8 billion while Serie A club revenue totalled €2.9 billion.

“The 2022 Fifa World Cup, the lifting of final Covid-19 restrictions, and the fervour of fans engaging with football has led to strong growth in the European football market in 2022/23,” said Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.

But he warned European football was at an “inflection point”.

“Football is growing into an ever more globally connected game, and this brings new challenges to maintaining competitive balance, strong governance and regulation,” he said.

“Leaders across the industry must provide a united front in following good governance principles to build a future for European football that fans, players, and partners across leagues can be excited for.”

England’s success at the 2022 Women’s Euros helped fuel a 50 per cent growth in Women’s Super League clubs’ revenue, which hit £48 million. It is forecast to rise to £68 million in 2024/25.

“Driving a loyal fanbase, habitual viewing, and distinct commercial partnerships was a clear priority for WSL clubs in the 2022/23 season and the soaring revenue growth achieved demonstrates the strides that have been made,” said Jenny Haskel, knowledge and insight lead in the Deloitte Sports Business Group.

“However, we’re still in the foothills of growth in the women’s game.” — AFP