Survey reveals financial chasm between top UK football teams

POLARISATION between British football’s haves and have-nots is growing, with most clubs outside the English top flight reliant on owners to cover losses, according to a survey published today.

Some 66 per cent of all teams who responded said they did not expect to make a profit before player trading and amortisation, an increase from 42 per cent last year, the study by accountants PKF found. In the Championship, English football’s second tier, only 12 per cent of sides forecast a profit, compared with 89 per cent of Premier League clubs.

Reliance on shareholders to keep them afloat is also greater outside the elite, with 87 per cent of Championship sides needing owner bailouts – twice the ratio of their Premier League counterparts.

“The divide between the rich and the poor in football is growing wider,” said PKF Football Industry Group head Charles Barnett. “You simply need to contrast the fortunes of Premier League giants such as Manchester United, which recently tapped Wall Street for funding, with lower league sides such as Port Vale and Portsmouth, which are both in administration.”