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The Premiership

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Premier League clubs slump into loss

Premier League clubs have made a combined loss for the first time in three years.   Clubs in the Premier League posted combined revenues of £3.6bn for the 2015-16 season, a 9 per cent rise from the previous year, according to Deloitte. 

However, spending on players has outpaced revenue growth.   Wages increased 12 per cent to £2,3bn which along with other costs, such as splashing out on transfer fees, helped to push clubs into a combined pre-tax loss of £110m.

Record loss for Premier League

The fall in the value of the pound after the Brexit referendum has hit the Premier League hard.   A pre-tax loss of £312m is expected to be announced this week.

For many years the TV contracts that have fuelled the league's boom have been paid in sterling, dollars and euros with the company paying the league clubs in sterling and using derivatives to manage the exchange rate risk.    However, the accounting rules for reporting derivatives have changed.

Arsenal could go in the red

It is now looking increasingly unlikely that Arsenal will qualify for the Champions League.   This could lead to a drop in income of £30m and mean that Arsenal make a financial loss for the first time since they moved to the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal would stand to earn about £17m from the Europa League instead of £45m from the Champions League.  They have made profits of less than £20m in four of the last five years and the loss of Champions League money could tip the balance.

Big spenders on agents

Manchester City and Chelsea spent the most money on agents in the last two transfer windows as Premier League clubs parted with £174m.   Manchester City spent £26.3m, Chelsea £25.1m, Manchester United £19m, Liverpool £13.8m and Arsenal £10.2m.

The three promoted clubs spent the least (£1.9m to £2.6m), while West Bromwich Albion were the next most parsimonious at £4.2m.

Champions League penalties for players

Arsenal players will lose out on bonuses worth about £5m if they fail to qualify for the Champions League. The club pays out £200,000 per player if it reaches the group stage, although that is not evenly split.  The competition was worth about £46m in payments from Uefa last season, while the club also made money from matchday income.

Manchester clubs with best wages to turnover ratios

The author of the authoritative Swiss Ramble blog has tweeted some information about wages to turnover ratios in the Premier League in the 2015-16 season.   The two Manchester clubs have among the lowest ratios: 50 per cent at City and 45 per cent at United.

However, only three clubs are at or below the 50 per cent figure recommended by Deloitte, Tottenham Hotspur being the other club at 48 per cent.   At the other end of the scale were relegated Aston Villa (85 per cent), Crystal Palace (79 per cent) and Stoke City (also 79 per cent).

Arsenal fans should be careful what they wish for

Last Sunday's game at the Emirates saw the spectacle of demonstrations for and against Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger outside the ground.   There were even scuffles in one of the stands at the end of the game.   However, this article cautions that Arsenal fans should be careful what they wish for.

The challenge facing Everton

Approval from Liverpool City Council for their new £300m stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is another step forward for Everton.   Unlike the club's previous plan to relocate away from th city in Kirkby, this proposal has the broad backing of supporters.

However, fulfilling the ambition of Everton becoming a top six club will not be easy, even with the backing of millionaire owner Farhard Moshri.   In age of financial fair play, clubs can no longer simply spend their way into the elite, as was the case for Chelsea and Manchester City.

Chelsea hold ground share talks with West Ham

Chelsea have held renewed talks with West Ham over a potential ground share at the London Stadium during the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge.  The club's preference is still to play games at Wembley during the three years the redevelopment will take, but it is making contingency plans in case it cannot reach agreement with the FA.

The London Stadium has emerged as the only credible alternative.   A possible move to Twickenham has been ruled out because of opposition from the Rugby Football Union and local residents.