English football clubs have left their overspending days behind them and have never been in better financial shape, according to a new study by insolvency firm Begbies Traynor.
Increasing revenues from television contracts allied with so-called financial fair play rules, which have forced clubs to live within their means, have slashed the number of teams in danger.
Just two out of England’s 72 top sides are in financial distress, according to Begbies Traynor. That equates to three per cent of clubs – a marked reduction on the 2012 figure of 18 per cent.
“To say that we have seen the end of football clubs going under is a step too far, as relegation impacts clubs harder than ever before, but it’s certainly less likely now,” said partner Gerald Krasner.
“The football industry has never been fitter, and while many might think that it is down to the influx of big money foreign club owners, it is as much to do with the fair play rules and the HMRC stance on arrears, which have forced good housekeeping.”
Premier League clubs are in the final year of broadcast contracts that guarantee each team at least £60m, but that figure is set to rise to £100m when a new three-year deal starts later this year.
European chiefs Uefa introduced their financial fair play rules in 2011 in response to clubs making losses and the Premier League and Football League have since drawn up their own versions.