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Premier League: 11 of 20 clubs could have made profits in 2016-17 without fans at games
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README.md
footballclub_companies_groupings.csv

README.md

Premier League: 11 of 20 clubs could have made profits in 2016-17 without fans at games

In August 2018 a joint project between the BBC England Data Unit, BBC Shared Data Unit and BBC Sport reported on the finances of football clubs across England. A lead piece focused on the fact that more than half of Premier League clubs could have played in empty stadiums and still made a pre-tax profit in the first season of the current broadcast deal, while a follow up piece looked at the widening gap between the Premier League and EFL and a further story focused on an interview about the findings with Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish.

Our analysis found:

  • The median average turnover among Premier League clubs was £133m higher than those in the Championship, according to clubs' most recent accounts
  • In 2017, 14 out of 23 Championship clubs spent more than 100% of their turnover on staff costs, including their players, coaches, management and administrators
  • Barnsley did not disclose that detail in their 2017 accounts
  • Between 2014 and 2017, Championship clubs' median average turnover increased by £4.8m to £23.7m, League One's rose by £1.9m to £6.3m and League Two's dropped by £300,000 to £3.2m
  • The Premier League's highest-paid director, believed to be executive chairman Richard Scudamore, received £2.5m in "broadcasting bonuses" in the year ending 2016, when the record TV rights deal was agreed - more than the margin by which League One and League Two clubs increased their turnovers from 2014-17

The story was two years in the making, beginning in October 2016, as Alex Homer, Andrew Aloia and Paul Bradshaw trawled through every single league club's accounts compiling and analysing data on their income, spending, webs of ownership and league position.

The accounts – four years of sets of accounts for 92 clubs changing each season - had to be read and data inputted manually because the accounts are published online as scanned PDFs. The resulting spreadsheet now contains more than 17,000 pieces of data.

With extra help on the analysis from Dan Wainwright and Paul Bradshaw in the England Data Unit and Pete Sherlock in the Shared Data Unit, and expert guidance and subbing from Steve Marshall, the result was a piece that had over 2m views and which was followed up by other outlets, as well as coverage on 5Live, BBC World, R4, R2, BBC Breakfast, The Six, the News Channel and 19 GNS interviews.

Get the data

Interviews and quotes (Premier League: 11 of 20 clubs could have made profits in 2016-17 without fans at games)

  • Dr Rob Wilson, sport finance specialist, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Malcolm Clarke, chair, Football Supporters' Federation
  • The Premier League (statement)
  • Chris Pearlman, chief operating officer, Swansea FC
  • Steve Parish, chairman, Crystal Palace FC
  • Ehab Allam, vice-chairman, Hull City FC
  • Kieran Maguire, football finance expert, University of Liverpool
  • Andy Higgins, deputy chair, Blackpool Supporters' Trust
  • Clive Harris, spokesman, Campaign Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD)

In Record TV rights deal saw gap from Premier League to EFL widen to £133m in first year:

  • Kieran Maguire, football finance expert, University of Liverpool
  • Trevor Birch, former chief executive of Chelsea, Everton, Leeds, Sheffield and Derby County, and one-time administrator for Portsmouth
  • EFL
  • Malcolm Clarke, chair, Football Supporters' Federation
  • Middlesbrough FC
  • The BBC approached Aston Villa, Birmingham, Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday, and Wolves for comment

Visualisation (Premier League: 11 of 20 clubs could have made profits in 2016-17 without fans at games)

  • Table: Profits without fans
  • Stacked bar chart: proportion of TV income to turnover
  • Bar chart: top 10 clubs - matchday revenue percentage of turnover
  • Bar chart: staff costs as % of turnover
  • Treemap: turnover of Premier League by club

In Record TV rights deal saw gap from Premier League to EFL widen to £133m in first year:

  • Line chart: Median average turnover by division, 2014-2017
  • Bar chart: Staff costs as % of turnover (Championship clubs)
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