Football must wait for the financial final act


Interesting financial news from Deloitte that FA Premier League clubs turned a profit in season 2013-14, the first time the combined results of the top 20 clubs in England have been in the black for 15 years.  The reason for the £190m surplus was a 29% increase in revenue, largely as a result of the-then new TV deal, which runs until summer 2016.  Wages rose only 20% that year.

Clubs will be happy to have stemmed the losses, although the first year of a new TV deal is always their high water mark, but the underlying bubble remains a problem.  Income cannot continue to rise at heady double-digit rates, shareholders of BskyB and BT will eventually see to that, despite the fact that next big boost from TV is already confirmed for season 2016-17.

The play to watch is not if or when a dysfunctional football sector gets its act in order, it’s when an almost-as dysfunctional broadcasting industry reaches equilibrium.  We’ve discussed before Sky’s absolute need for Premier League rights to secure their place as a prime broadcaster.  BT, Virgin, Netflix and others are busy eating into their movie, news and entertainment broadcast market.  It’s this need which is driving revenue towards the English Premier League.  Without English Premier League football, Sky are vulnerable.

Sky took the first step towards passing the financial pain of their new deal down the line to consumers this month in the form of a price increase.  The company have successfully done this before, many low income families are now paying £70 per month for satellite TV, and subscriber losses after previous increases have been almost non-existent.

Millions of people have high stakes skin in this game: subscribers, Sky and BT executives, their respective shareholders, Premier League clubs and the dependent ecosystem below them.  All the spinning plates have remained in the air, despite price increases through a recession, but one fundamental remains:

This is a bubble.

Speculators are confused when they only see a market inflate over a long period that it’s not a bubble.  The moment these TV deals become unaffordable to subscribers, or more likely, to the broadcasters, the bubble will burst.

Debts are high, profitability is here, but the underlying commercial pressures to stay in the league remain, so wage pressure will continue to eat away at available funds.  Those outside of the bonanza have to figure out how to compete for audience and players, while waiting on the final act.

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  1. Paul67 et al



    The other side of the coin is this of course. If the EPL is now profitable under the present 2013-2016 deal then how much more profitable could it be through the next deal? Arsenal and Liverpool seem to be taking a similar stand re negotiations with Walcott and Sterling, despite the frenzied efforts of the players’ agents. Walcott “earns” £100,000 per week and no doubt expects to be paid more, though who else would pay him that is open to question. I mentioned earlier this season that Southampton looked like a club where the owners could make some real money from running a football club, well looks like they will not be alone. Brings to mind a commentary from the late Alistair Cook on an American Baseball dispute about twenty years back.


    ‘It is a struggle between millionaires and billionaires’

  2. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    I received a spam email from him today


    Looks like a few cqn accounts on the list

  3. What a sad sad thing that plane crash was, so many innocent people taken, and for what? One nut case?


    Words can not express how anyone from the families must be feeling on this tragic day, my heart goes out to them, so pointless, what a bastard..

  4. !!Bada Bing!! on

    GM-‘I can’t do the weekly thing though. It’s gotta be a good few at a time :)’



  5. mike in Toronto



    I go to a dvd store run by a irish guy, buy all tv series from him.5.00.


    couple of good ones is happy valley and last tango in Halifax.



    finished sons a couple of weeks ago some last eposide.

  6. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Mental health is a very emotive issue and we don’t know the state of the individual’s mind


    God rest the souls of them all

  7. In the US pilots aren’t allowed to be in the cabin on their own. If one has to leave they are replaced by a flight attendant. I suspect that will be the case in Europe from now on.

  8. The English dross comes way behind the Bundesliga in Bulgaria/Romania and Hungary,



    Personally i think the Bundes is streets ahead of the boring EPL (not that i see much of it) and every game is live on 3-4 channels.



    Free of course, once you’ve purchased your Sat/dish.

  9. blantyretim is praying for the knox family


    Hey! We know all this, and what it’s all about, how it works, and some who don’t get treatment, and some who get the wrong treatment, I get that, I honestly do, but he is still a crackpot in my book, and that’s that.

  10. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Ok , I’ll leave it at that Tony


    No point in arguing in here about it




    Back to work for me

  11. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Ernie-never knew that, if the bastard had murdered one of mine,i wouldn’t be as forgiving as some.

  12. moonbeams wd. wee oscar’s our bhoy and kano’s our mhan. the vow – critically rebuked by 45% of this fine nation.


    Spouting pish, about a crackpot who killed 149 people, are you real?

  13. blantyretim is praying for the knox family


    Not here to argue with you I just posted my opinion, that’s all. And no one will change it, and you of course are allowed yours.

  14. tonydonnelly67


    13:47 on


    26 March, 2015



    You could have made your point without resorting to derogatory labels that continue to stigmatise people trying to live as ‘normal’ a life as possible while dealing with mental health problems.



    It’s all the more problematic because were still at the stage of assuming he’s had an acute and severe mental health issue, but we don’t know it for a fact.


    One of the main reasons people give for not going through with suicide is the distress it will cause to their loved ones.



    Especially for whoever finds,or has to identify,their remains.



    Of course,it can be argued that such rational thought means that you are still sufficiently in control to think better,regardless of your mental state.



    Clearly the pilot wasn’t.



    My thoughts and prayers are with all of the deceased and bereaved. Regardless of ‘blame’ in such tragic circumstances.

  16. South Of Tunis on

    The Battered Bunnett.@ 13.19.



    ” Because it’s not a bubble ” .






    Basic supply and demand .



    A South London based ” debt negotiator ” pal tells me he has stopped being surprised by the number of people who regard football packages as” essential.”

  17. Every flight I have been on since 9/11 – and I have been on many – whenever a member of the flight crew leaves the cockpit, his/her place is taken by a member of the cabin crew.



    The door to the flight deck is then closed.



    When the member of the flight crew returns the door is re-opened and the exchange is made.



    As far as I am aware this has been standard procedure for, at least, a decade.



    Appears not to have been adhered to in the germanwings flight.



    Thoughts with the families of those who perished.

  18. Paul67



    I’ve been hearing, like everyone else, that for some time this bubble will burst. I’m sorry but I can’t see it happening anytime soon.



    Recently all 20 EPL clubs were named in the top 30 (it may have been 40) richest football clubs on the planet and that was before the recent deal.



    The weans in my class, most of whom support either us or them, still spend most of their time talking about EPL or European games that they’ve watched on SKY/BT.

  19. blantyretim.



    Sent Aldo an e-mail re e-mail, most likely still asleep as he’s nightshift.

  20. The Battered Bunnet on

    No comfort in the emerging news from France. Dreadful.



    Early reports suggested some sort of catastrophic systems failure.



    Now it seems the tragedy may have been a deliberate act by the co-pilot.



    Is human failing harder to rationalise than human error or mechanical failure?

  21. weeminger


    Derogatory? A pilot wakes up one day to go fly a plane load of people somewhere , and decides to take them all with him to where ever? Kids, baby’s who ever and I’m being derogatory, ge me a break Ffs , the guys a crackpot, and a mass murderer in my book, my heart to to all involved, but him, a hope he rots in hell.

  22. I think until the flight data recorder is found we should perhaps take our hands off the noose.



    Prayers said for all who died in this tragedy and those that remain.



    God help them all.

  23. moonbeams wd. wee oscar’s our bhoy and kano’s our mhan. the vow – critically rebuked by 45% of this fine nation.



    Some are slower than others, but I get it you don’t, crackpot bampot? Now WHOIS spouting pish?

  24. philbhoy



    14:19 on 26 March, 2015


    I think until the flight data recorder is found we should perhaps take our hands off the noose.



    Prayers said for all who died in this tragedy and those that remain.



    God help them all.



    That I can go along with, but when a nut sack tells you your spouting pish, it will get a reaction, and it sis.

  25. flat5



    14:23 on 26 March, 2015




    Any other tabloid style rantings that you could illuminate the blog with?



    And spouting pish isn’t one of them?


    And are you the man who ok’s my posts?


    As iv said before you don’t like my posts scroll past, there are many in here that I do it too, unless the mention my name, then they get an answer,.

  26. mike in toronto on




    I hadn’t heard about either of those shows, but just had a quick look. They both sound interesting. I will need to give them a look. Thanks.

  27. Off out with the pups…………………………..имат приятен ден.

  28. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on

    With respect to all opinions it has to be said a lack of knowledge of mental illness seems to be apparent.



    I’m of the opinion that suicide is too commonly and easily linked to depression especially what we perceive as short bouts of the illness.



    Getting specific there is a real horrible mental illness called Stress Induced Psychosis which can be very difficult to diagnose and no amount of wrongly prescribed anti depressants can cure it.



    I personally am certain many suicides are attributtal to it that have went undiagnosed and it can cause the sufferer to do all manner of things whilst ill.



    Our society has a high rate of suicide and this is one illness I believe everybody needs to be made aware of especially if a family member is displaying signs of what we would commonly think of as depression.



    This post is mainly a bit of a heads up to normal everyday people and since I’ve mentioned it I will say I’m no mental health expert or advisor however,if you know someone suffering what you think is depression try having a word with a doctor about Psychosis,anti psychotic medication and an area of mental health called Early Intervention.



    I’m loathe to condemn anybody committing suicide regardless of the grief caused,it’s not as simple as “a bit of depression”.

  29. TD67


    Are you actually criticising me for having an opinion? I am sorry that you feel I offended you.


    I like your posts, that why i wanted more of the same. They are noteworthy.


    How about the murder of Oscar Romero, did he bring it on himself?


    What are your thoughts on Brechtian alienation?

  30. You mean the brechtian alienation thought noises in film or just the what my thoughts on it are, and I’m wondering where we are going with this, should I double lock my door tonight YA freak?

  31. Winning Captains



    Cheers for the poll. Just voted and the results are pretty much as expected so far considering the opinions yesterday.







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