Crystal Palace secured their status as a Premier League club for a record seventh consecutive season when beating Arsenal 3-2 at The Emirates last Sunday, meaning another sizeable financial boost to the club’s coffers; sadly, it’s nothing compared to the money the “Big Six” are now generating.
Thanks to this excellent report in The Evening Standard analysing the data provided to the public by Deloitte, we can see that there has been a clear and sizeable acceleration away from the remainder of the Premier League by the division’s “Big Six” over the rest in the last 12 months, leaving some to wonder if their current monopoly on European qualification is likely to ever be broken again in the manner that Leicester managed a few years back.
Whilst I don’t want to break down each and every aspect of the excellent and in-depth report from The Standard, there are one or two headline figures which I feel are worth sharing with you before you get into the meat of their findings by clicking on the link provided above. The first and perhaps most eyebrow-raising of them all is that the “Big Six” accounted for 89% (£401 million) of the league’s pre-tax profits, a figure which was up 36% from the previous year.
The six richest clubs earned a whopping £53.4 million a week, some £5 million more per week than a year before, whilst the remaining 14 participants in the Premier League actually saw their profits fall £200,000 a week from the previous year. It is of course easy to attribute this rise to the clubs’ participation in the latter stages of European competitions but with the same occurring in the 2018-19 season, it’s fair to suggest that similar figures will be published in 12 months time.
Before I get my violin out and ask everyone to feel sorry for the remaining 14 participants, I feel it’s only right to highlight that they all earned significantly more than those clubs in the second tier and below but where before the entirety of the top flight has been bundled together as one huge money-making machine, we are now beginning to see a distinct divide between those who regularly dine at Europe’s top table and the rest.
Without significant improvements being made to the seating and hospitality facilities at grounds like Selhurst Park, it’s difficult to envisage the trend reversing; a factor which has been key in Steve Parish’s continuing efforts to redevelop things in SE25.
We all knew the Premier League big boys were better off than the rest, I’m just not sure many of us realised just how wide the gap had become.