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Richer EPL Sinks Further into Debt
BBC News, May 31st, 2007 3:46PM

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BBC News takes a comprehensive look at the English Premier League's finances as outlined by new report from the financial firm Deloitte. Expect league salaries and spending on players to increase next season as the EPL benefits from a new $5.34 billion television deal. Rises in international and domestic TV revenues mean the league will be adding another $594 million to its coffers each season.

Collectively, the league's revenue was $2.77 billion last year, with Manchester United accounting for some $331 million, Chelsea $301 million, Arsenal $263 million and Liverpool $240 million. However, the league spent about half as much as it earned on player salaries. In all, $1.7 billion was spent on player wages-while Chelsea alone spending $226 million. Four other clubs paid more than $100 million.

Such spending and a string of takeovers by foreign investors have resulted in unprecedented amounts of debt for the league. Collectively, Deloitte said the EPL is $3.24 billion in debt, with Manchester United's Malcolm Glazer accounting for more a third of that figure. Glazer took out $1.2 billion in loans when he bought United for $1.6 billion in May 2005. Without that debt, which doesn't count on the club's books, the league is just $2 billion in the red. Just nine Premier League clubs turned a profit last year, with Arsenal leading the way.

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