Most of Premiership money still goes to players
The annual review of Premier League finances published by The Guardian shows why the majority of clubs were prepared to back rules to rein back spending. £1.6bn, two thirds of total income, was spent on wages in 2011-12, most of that on players.
Players argue that they need high pay because they have short careers. However, barring injury, it is possible for a defender to have a career not far short of twenty years at the top level. Even a career of fifteen years should give plenty of scope for money to put aside to invest in a business or finance a leisurely lifestyle. Unfortunately, many players lack good judgment when it comes to money and are often badly advised.
Some players have started in first teams in the top level and are now playing in non-league. Injury or bad lack may play a part, but having seen some of these players, they often seem to me to be talented but lazy, both on and off the pitch.
The Guardian survey shows that clubs are spending 67 per cent of turnover on wages, well above the recommended level of 50 per cent. However, both the number of clubs losing money, and the size of their losses, has fallen.
The Football League would like to get more money from the Premier League from next year's greatly enhanced television income in the form of 'solidarity' payments to lower league clubs. Next year Championship clubs not receiving parachute payments will receive £2.3m, more than they get from their own television deal. League One teams will get £360k, an increase of 6.6 per cent and League Two clubs £240k, an increase of 5.4 per cent.
The Premier League has to give some money to the lower leagues for public relations reasons. But to be brutally frank, the Premier League could float away from the Football League and still be very successful, particularly if the top clubs were involved in an enhanced European competition.