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Applied and Academic English

Advanced

Critically discuss the financial advantage


The English Premier League has compared
to its European counterparts.

Adam LACHHAB
Southampton Solent University
Applied and Academic English Advanced
2015-2016

Table of contents
Introduction..............................................................................3
Financial advantages of the Barclays Premier League..................3
English clubs are favoured.........................................................4
Audiences and attendance in different league.............................4
Conclusion................................................................................5
References................................................................................ 6

Introduction
Football has always been a very popular sport since it has been created,
for Orejan football is the most popular sport in the world (Orejan, p-5,
2011). Over the years its popularity has been extended through
technology like Television, Media, and Internet.
Nowadays football has become a really important subject not only for
sport purpose but also for the money it generates. It is especially true in
England where the Barclays Premier League (BPL) has registered the most
important bid for TV rights in its history.
This essay will critically assess the financial advantages of the BPL over
the other European football league such as La Liga, Ligue 1, Bundesliga
and Serie A. In a second part it will show that not only the league but the
clubs also benefit from this financial dominance. Finally, it will
demonstrate that those financial advantages have an impact on the
football audiences in Europe.

Financial advantages of the Barclays Premier League


Football is usually associated with going to the stadium, fervour of the
fans, fans songs and sometimes hooligans. However, football has moved
from an amateur sport to a business in which the game in itself is just a
product and fans are customers.
A business that raise and generate an incredible amount of money. The
Barclays Premier League generates money through different form.
The most profitable one is the television rights that the different channels
from all over the world pays to show the matches. In 2015, The BPL sold to
two British channels, Sky and BT, the TV rights for the next three seasons,
starting in August 2016, for a value of 5,1 billion. This represent an
increase of 70% on the previous deal that the two channels had to show
the three previous seasons. (bbc.co.uk). This massive deal only concerned
the TV rights in the UK. Overseas the rights are worth around 2 billion
which brings the total to more than 7 billion. Those deals make the
English Premier League the fourth richest sports league in the world in
terms of revenue. (sportsmuntra.com).
Others income come from the many sponsors that the league has. The
premier league has more than a dozen sponsorship deals. The major
sponsor is obviously Barclays which is the title sponsor for over fifteen
years. The sponsorship deal is worth 40 million per year. (bbc.co.uk).
The others sponsors are famous brands such as Nike, Carlsberg, EA sports.
No doubt that those brands are paying a lot of money to put their name in
the most watched football league in the world. (premierleague.com)
To be completely thorough, a comparison with the other European football
league must be done to really understand the financial advantage of the
BPL.
In Spain, which is the second football league in term of popularity, the
Spanish giant of telecommunication, Telefonica, bought the television
rights for 600 million (ft.com) per season which represent less than half
the price of the English league. In Germany, the national broadcaster ARD,

ZDF and Sport1 agreed to pay around 628 million per season to show the
Bundesliga. (epfl-europeanleagues.com).
In France and Italy, channels have reach an agreement to pay respectively
748 million and 943 million per season. (leparisien.fr) (espnfc.com).
With its 1.7 billion per season (approx. 2.3 billion) the Barclays Premier
League has an undeniable financial advantage over the others European
football league. This advantages also impact the clubs that composed the
league.

English clubs are favoured


As the league is the richest in Europe, the clubs that composed the league
have consequently an advantage on the others European clubs. Every first
European league is composed of 20 teams excepted in Germany where
there is only 18, and every single one receive a percentage of the amount
that the league had negotiate for the TV rights. In addition to that clubs
have their own sponsors, for some of them the sponsorship deals are
worth several millions of pounds. In 2015 five of the tenth richest club in
Europe were English club, and this tendency is running for more than 10
years. (forbes.com).
With this financial advantage English clubs are more likely to spend more
money on the transfers market to buy new players. Football transfers
market is a market where clubs buys players from other clubs to play in
their team. The transfers window is open every summer at the end of
every championship and has an other session in January. Clubs all over
Europe are spending a huge amount for players, the value of a player is
determined by his personal statistics (goals scored and assists) and by the
number of year remaining in his previous contract. Every clubs negotiate
to buy the best players and for some player the sums are sky high. The
record transfer of all time is detained by Cristiano Ronaldo, bought by Real
Madrid from Manchester United for an amount of 80 million. (bbc.co.uk).
During the transfers window of 2015 the English premier league clubs
spent 870 million on players, which is more than the amount spent in the
Spanish and Italian league combined who spent respectively 400 million
and 405 million. The French and German league are way behind with only
220 and 290 million spent. (bbc.co.uk).
The main reason of those investment in players is of course to improve the
team in order to be better and to win trophies. Consequently, if a team has
good results the fans will be more likely to follow their team by going to
the stadium of simply by turning on their television. Therefore, the
financial advantages of the Barclays Premier League have an impact on
the audiences and stadium attendance of the English clubs.

Audiences and attendance in different league


The Barclays Premier League is the Worlds most watched league.
(premierleague.com).
The league is broadcast in 212 countries and has a cumulative audience of
almost 5 billion people in the world for the 380 matches. Every single

match has a global audience of nearly 13 million viewers, in comparison


one Italys league match gather 4,5 million people, 2,2 million are
gathered every Bundesliga matches and one La Liga match is viewed by 2
million people in average. (theconversation.com).
When it comes to stadium attendance the German Bundesliga is ahead of
the Premier league. German fans are, on average, 42 609 to attend a
match while 36 631 are attending a Premier League match. Spanish,
Italian and French are respectively 26 843, 23 385 and 20 965 to support
their team every match. (s.bundesliga.com).
Those number are affected by the price of a match ticket. On average a
ticket for a Premier league match is 53,76, Spain is the second most
expensive with 50,83 followed by Italy 50,10 and France 26,87.
German fans spend only 23,02 to assist a Bundesliga match which is
more than twice less than British paid. (goeuro.co.uk). This might explain
why the attendance is higher in the Bundesliga.

Conclusion
Barclays Premier League is undeniably the worlds most important football
league. It has viewers from more than 200 countries, it has the richest
clubs, television channels are paying billions of Pounds to show the games
and thousands of fans are attending the stadiums.
Despite the financial advantages that the Premier League has over its
European counterparts English clubs are less successful, in terms of sports
results, than the others European teams.
For the past five years English clubs are struggling when it comes to
European competitions such as The Champions League or the Europa
League. In those two competition German and Spanish teams are in
command.
It appears that being a successful and powerful league does not guarantee
the clubs that compose this league of having good sports results. Money
has always been a sign of success when it comes to business, but when it
comes to sports it turns out that it is not the case. The Premier League
might reconsider this point and let the sport re-take over the business.

References
1.
bbc.co.uk, 2015. Premier League TV rights: Sky and BT pay 5.1bn
for live games [viewed 24 October 2015]. Available from:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/31357409
2.
bbc.co.uk, 2012. Premier League and Barclays sign new three-year
deal
[viewed
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October
2015].
Available
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18825986
3.
bbc.co.uk, 2015. Premier League: Transfer window proves richest
ever at 870m [viewed 14 December 2015]. Available from:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/34118289
4.
bundesliga, 2015. Report 2015. Frankfurt: DFL Deutsche Futbol Liga
GmbH
[viewed
14
December
2015].
Available
from:
http://s.bundesliga.com/assets/doc/490000/488239_original.pdf
5.
epfl-europeanleagues.com, 2012. Record revenues for Bundesliga 2.5 billion euros secured in new media rights deal [viewed 3 December
2015].
Available
from:
http://www.epfleuropeanleagues.com/dfl_record_revenues.htm
6.
espnfc.com, 2014. Serie A clubs back new TV deal [viewed 10
December 2015]. Available from: http://www.espnfc.com/italian-seriea/story/1916857/serie-a-clubs-agree-new-tv-rights-deal
7.
forbes.com, 2015. Real Madrid Tops Ranking Of The World's Most
Valuable Soccer Teams [viewed 12 December 2015]. Available from:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2015/05/06/real-madrid-topsranking-of-the-worlds-most-valuable-soccerteams/#2715e4857a0b71a0c0c83b36
8.
ft.com, 2015. Telefnica in 600m Spanish TV rights deal for La Liga
[viewed
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December
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Available
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http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/85e20a78-2711-11e5-9c4ea775d2b173ca.html#axzz3x8po5PzR
9.
goeuro.co.uk, 2015. Football price index [viewed 15 December
2015]. Available from: http://www.goeuro.co.uk/football-price-index
10. leparisien.fr, 2014. Droits TV Ligue 1 : montant record de 748,5
millions d'euros par an [viewed 15 December 2015]. Available from:
http://www.leparisien.fr/ligue-1-2010-2011-football/droits-tv-du-foot-laligue-espere-decrocher-le-gros-lot-04-04-2014-3740193.php
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December
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Available
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/man_utd/8121951.stm

12. Orejan, J., 2011. Football/soccer: history and tactics. London:


McFarland
13. premierleague.com, 2015. Commercial [viewed 12 December 2015].
Available from: http://www.premierleague.com/content/premierleague/engb/commercial.html
14. sportsmuntra.com, 2015. 10 Most Expensive Sports Leagues by
Revenue
[viewed
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2015].
Available
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http://www.sportsmuntra.com/10-most-expensive-sports-leagues-byrevenue/
15. theconversation.com, 2014. Hard Evidence: how much is the Premier
League worth?
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