LONDON. – English Premier League soccer clubs receive so much money from television half of them could still turn a profit even if the stadia were empty, according to the BBC.
Using statistics compiled from the 2016/17 season, during which clubs benefited from a record £8.3 billion global TV revenue, income from match days contributed less than a fifth of every 1 earned by 18 English Premier League sides.
The number of clubs that would have recorded pre-tax profits even if match day income was taken away rose from two in 2015/16 to 10 in 2016/17.
Only Tottenham Hotspur of the so-called big six features among those clubs, with West Bromwich Albion topping the list.
Rob Wilson, a sport finance specialist at Sheffield Hallam University, told the BBC the sea change in club finances came with the TV deal agreed in 2012 which brought in £3.018 billion.
“That is when the focus really went toward generating TV money rather than match day ticket receipts,” he told the BBC.
“The revenue structures of those clubs are fairly well there to stay now.
“When you get a 120m payout from the Premier League for kicking a ball around, you can play in an empty stadium if you need to.”
However, Malcolm Clarke, chair of the Football Supporters Federation, said TV companies such as Sky and BT Sport would not be prepared to pay so much money if it wasn’t for the atmosphere inside the grounds.
“I’d say they are the most important element,” Clarke told the BBC