Windfall due next year but clubs can’t wait to spend their billions

Frank Dalleres
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PREMIER League clubs are ramping up their spending this summer in anticipation of the television cash bonanza on the horizon next year, according to a new survey.

The findings, from accountants BDO’s annual survey of financial directors at English football clubs, comes after it emerged this week that spending by top-flight sides in this transfer window had already passed £500m.

New domestic TV contracts with Sky and BT, due to take effect from 2016-17, are worth £5.1bn over three years – a 70 per cent increase on the current contract. Deals with international broadcasters, due to be completed before Christmas, are likely to push the figure past £8bn.

Clubs are not only spending in the knowledge they can expect to bank an extra £30-35m on average from next term, but also to finish higher and therefore claim a larger portion of the swelling prize fund.

“In anticipation of this change in revenues, we are seeing top-flight clubs spending more on strengthening their squads,” said BDO partner Ian Clayden, who also predicted a trickle-down effect.

“It’s likely to also benefit Championship clubs who will have a stronger financial base on which to develop home-grown talent.

“However, this will make relegation from the Premier League more perilous than ever and will further lock in the growing wealth gap within the Premier League itself and between the Premier League and the Football League in recent years.”