June 13, 2024

‘Majority of football clubs received investment enquiries last year’

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 02: A detailed view of the Nike Flight 2024 Premier League match ball prior to the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool FC at the City Ground on March 02, 2024 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The majority of English football clubs in the top four leagues are receiving “formal or informal investment enquiries”, a survey by BDO suggests. 

It said that most interest is coming from the US, which accounts for 85 per cent of enquiries. 

Half of Premier League clubs, 10, have some form of US investors, while Middle Eastern stakeholders own a quarter of Championship clubs. 

It reflects a drive of American interest in English football following the success of Wrexham in League Two and the popularity of comedy series Ted Lasso. 

The analysis also said that all football league clubs surveyed were operating at a loss, with most clubs posting hits of over £10m for the 2022/23 season. 

The financial consultancy firm BDO used research on club finances and outlooks from 20 clubs from England’s top four divisions. 

All clubs have now published their financial accounts for the latest full financial year, which is for the 2022/23 season. 

The optimism of Premier League clubs was also noted in the survey, with half of Premier Leagues saying their profitability was “very healthy”, versus just 14 per cent of clubs in League One and League Two. 

Big Six clubs – Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester United – earn around three times as much revenue than the rest of the Premier League, the report also showed. 

Most clubs in the Premier League also said they would be more profitable in the 2023/24 season. 

“Despite the lack of profitability, investors are still queueing up to invest in English football clubs, lured in part by the promise of the exit opportunities that come from promotion to the Premier League,” Ian Clayden, Head of Professional Sports at BDO, said.

“The high wages in the Premier League often dominate the headlines, but we found that Premiership players are demonstrably not overpaid when compared to their club revenues.”

“However, the same can’t be said for players in the Championship where high wages can place a huge strain on club finances.”

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