Report reveals Sunderland’s £78million income, Newcastle named among biggest earners – but joins Chelsea and QPR as most in debt

Sunderland owner Ellis Short
Sunderland owner Ellis Short
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SUNDERLAND AFC generated £78million in revenue in the 2011/12, the latest review of football finances has shown.

Deloitte’s annual review of football finance for 2011/12 shows Sunderland’s revenue was two per cent down than in the previous season.

Together the North East’s three Premier League and Championship clubs – Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough – generated combined revenue of £190million, six per cent of the total at the 92 league clubs.

Newcastle’s revenue of £93million was enough to make the 2013 Deloitte Football Money League Top 20. It represented a five per cent increase from 2010/11.

Newcastle and Middlesbrough both enjoyed growth in average league match attendances, with increases of five per cent and seven per cent respectively.

Newcastle is also named as one of three clubs with the highest debt of top-flight clubs, albeit in the form of a so-called ‘soft loan’ of £267million.

The report found overall debt levels at top-flight clubs remained much the same in 2011/12 at £2.4billion, but 59 per cent of this is in the form of the non-interest bearing ‘soft loans’ at three clubs: Newcastle, Chelsea (£895million), and QPR (£93million).

The report also showed half the clubs in the Premier League are still making losses despite record overall revenues – but the huge new TV deal could drag most out of the red if chairmen resist blowing the money on player wages, according to a new report.

The Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance 2013 says the extra TV cash plus new spending controls could have significant beneficial effects for top-flight and Championship clubs if it is managed properly.

From August, clubs in the Premier League will receive an extra £25million on average each year from the new TV contracts, and for most clubs that could wipe out their losses. Relegated clubs will also receive up to £60million in parachute payments.

The Deloitte report predicts player wage costs will rise considerably with the new TV money coming in – but says that clubs should keep that rise to respectable levels.

“Achieving a more sustainable balance between their costs and revenues and thereby generating more profits provides opportunities or, some might say, a culture shock for clubs,” says the report.

“Increased profitability will allow greater longer-term investment in stadia and training infrastructure, youth development and community programmes.”

Premier League clubs’ revenue reached a record £2.36billion in 2011/12, but most of that increase went on wages - up four per cent - to remain 70 per cent of total turnover.

In the Championship, the picture is even more alarming with only five of the 24 clubs finishing in the black and overall 90% of all revenue going on wages.

Alan Switzer, director in the sports business group at Deloitte, said: “It’s fair to say some Championship clubs are rolling the dice and gambling on getting into the Premier League.

“The financial regulations the Football League has brought in seek to address that, and if the losses are above the allowed limit then the club will have an embargo on transfers.”

The top five clubs by revenue in 2011/12 were Manchester United (£320million), Chelsea (£261million), Arsenal (£235million), Manchester City (£231million), and Liverpool (£189million).

Manchester City also made the greatest annual loss, £97.9m, down significantly from the £197.5m of the previous 12 months.

In comparison with the rest of Europe, the Premier League clubs continue to have the highest revenue, £2.4billion compared to Germany’s £1.5 billion and Spain’s £1.4billion.

The Bundesliga remains the most profitable however, with operating profits of £154million, followed by the Premier League’s £98million.