And finally… elite football worth nearly £8bn to UK economy every year

The Premier League and its clubs supported close to 100,000 jobs as well as contributing £7.6 billion to UK Gross Domestic Product last year, new data from EY has revealed today.

Top level football also generated a total tax contribution of £3.3bn to the UK Exchequer in the 2016/17 season, according to the accounting accounting giant’s Economic and Social Impact Assessment.

Since its inception in the 1992/93 season, the Premier League has established itself with a global exemplar for an entertaining brand of the beautiful game.

This is evidenced by the Premier League consistently achieving 96 per cent+ stadium utilisation – the highest of any major European League – along with substantial growth in broadcast revenue and one billion homes globally having access to Premier League coverage.

The £3.3bn tax contribution represents a 50 per cent increase since 2013/14 when the last calculation was made. This includes £1.1bn paid by players and £1.2bn collected by clubs and their associated supply chains in VAT. 

Mark Gregory, EY’s Chief Economist said: “The Premier League is a globally recognised brand, built upon high-quality football. The League’s global success feeds into its capacity to generate economic and social returns within the UK.

“The strength of the Premier League broadcast offering, which is based on a committed global fanbase, is key to its success. The Premier League has also become an active member of the global community, presenting many commercial opportunities for the UK. Our latest report clearly shows that a successful Premier League is good not just for football but for the country as a whole.”

Bill Bush, Premier League executive director, said: “The EY report shows how the Premier League contributes to all levels of football and beyond.  It is a simple model: many of the best players in the world playing for some of football’s finest clubs in a compelling competition in front of passionate fans, broadcast here and around the world.  Great football gives us the economic success to invest in our own competition and provide unparalleled support to the EFL, youth development, the non-league system and community football. The national economy benefits from over £1billon in overseas earnings and over £3billion in tax because our clubs strive so hard to get the football right.”

The Premier League’s positive financial performance has led to an increased contribution to the UK’s economy. The economic impact has increased by more than 800 per cent since 1998/99, which has resulted in significant growth in employment opportunities. The activity of the League supported close to 100,000 full-time equivalent jobs across the UK in 2016/17. The majority of these jobs were underpinned by the League’s substantial supply chains, which accounted for 87,000 jobs both through indirect (52,000) and induced (35,000) impacts. Of the total employment impact, 90,300 was clubs, with the remainder supported by the Premier League.

Mr Gregory adds: “GVA impact from the clubs has grown from 0.7 billion in 1998/99, to £7.6 billion in 2016/17, this equates to an astounding increase of 800% in cash terms and a compound annual growth rate of 13 per cent.”

The economic activity supported by the League is distributed across much of England and Wales due to the geographical spread of Premier League clubs. Since its inception, 49 different clubs have competed in the League. The scale of community provision and support undertaken by the Premier League has grown significantly, correlating with the League’s broader success.

The Premier League funds more than 150 clubs across the Premier League, English Football League and National League to deliver programmes in communities and schools. These engaged more than 500,000 young people across England and Wales. In addition, more than 1 million people participated on community football facilities delivered via the Football Foundation.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP added: “As the most-watched football league in the world, the Premier League is the definition of a great British export. These latest figures show just how much it positively impacts our economy, generating jobs and putting money in the bank.

“I’m delighted to see the Premier League continually go from strength-to-strength, with it fundamentally changing how people across the world watch and even play football. My international economic department and the whole of the UK Government stands ready to support in any way possible.”