Premiership regains place as world's most profitable league

CHAMPIONS Manchester United yesterday set the trend for Premier League football clubs after announcing a lucrative shirt deal on the day when record-high revenue figures were announced.<br /><br />The Old Trafford club agreed to a four-year sponsorship deal with insurance giant Aon Corporation, replacing that of troubled AIG, which was bailed out by the US government. Terms weren&rsquo;t disclosed but the deal is expected to exceed the &pound;14m-a-year AIG paid in 2006.<br /><br />The news came on the day when Premier League clubs continued to defy the credit crunch with revenues soaring to a record &pound;1,932m in 2007-08.<br /><br />According to the latest Annual Review of Football Finance from the Sport Business Group of business advisers Deloitte, the figure is up 26 per cent on 2006-07 &ndash; and is expected to top &pound;2bn in the season just played.<br /><br />The report also showed the Premier League has regained its status as the world&rsquo;s most profitable league from the German Bundesliga with clubs generating &pound;185m in operating profits.<br /><br />With that, however, comes an increase in wage costs, which rose by &pound;227m to top &pound;1.2m for the first time.