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Revenue of the 'Big Five' European soccer leagues 1996-2021

The combined revenue of all 20 English Premier League (EPL) clubs is projected to be around 6.2 billion euros in the 2020/21 season. Teams in the top division in England are expected to generate more than two billion euros more than their counterparts in Spain and Germany, who rank second and third respectively.

Why is the English Premier League earning so much more?

Germany has the best supported league by average per game attendance and the Spanish league can claim to have the two richest clubs in world soccer, but the EPL tops the table for revenue generated. The reason for the gulf in revenue between the EPL and the other top four European soccer leagues is clear: broadcasting rights. The EPL sold the domestic broadcasting rights for the three-year period between 2016-2019 for around five billion British pounds; the league sold the overseas broadcasting rights for the same cycle for around three billion British pounds. This resulted in EPL clubs receiving a total broadcasting payment of around 2.45 billion British pounds during the 2018/19 season. Breaking this down further, each of the 20 EPL clubs received 79.4 million British pounds from total broadcasting payments in 2018/19, along with further shares based on their final position in the league table (merit payment) and how many times the club was broadcast on television that season in the United Kingdom (facility fees).

The transfer market is big business

With record revenues being reported at both ends of the table, clubs in the EPL are more willing to spend in the transfer market. Total transfer fee spending in the world’s richest league rose to around 2.1 billion British pounds in 2018 – the sixth consecutive year that investment has increased. However, the activity of clubs across Europe is also busy during the transfer windows: transfer fee spending of clubs in Spain increased by around 80 percent in 2018. The spending of Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid is the main reason for this sudden surge and the names of these Spanish sides feature no less than six times in the top ten list of highest transfer fees ever paid by a club for a soccer player.

Revenue of the biggest (Big Five*) European soccer leagues from 1996/97 to 2020/21

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Release date

May 2020



Survey time period

1996/97 to 2018/19

Supplementary notes

* The term "Big Five" refers to the top-tier soccer leagues of England, Germany, Spain, France and Italy.
** Projected

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Statistics on "The 'Big Five' European Football Leagues"

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