The Premier League has released the payouts that clubs received from the leagues new TV deals, and the size of the payouts make it clear that Financial Fair Play in Europe is doomed to fail.
Chelsea’s Premier League title success earned them £9 9 million in total prize money according to official figures, the most ever earned by a single club in one season from central funds.
The precise eye-watering sum was £98,999,554, made up of £24.9 million ‘merit’ cash for finishing top of the table, £19.98 million ‘facility fees’ for being in so many live TV games, plus equal shares of the domestic TV deal (nearly £22 million), overseas TV deals (£27.8 million) and commercial income from the leagues sponsors, such as Barclays (£4.4 million).
Manchester City were second in the table and are second in the cash league with £98.5 million, but Manchester United are the next highest earners (£96.8 million) despite finishing fourth because they were live on TV more than third-placed Arsenal, who are fourth in the money table with £96.5 million.
Even bottom of the table Queens Park Rangers were handsomely rewarded as they received 64,886,028 million.
And that is at the heart of the FFP’s problems. The Premier League is so popular worldwide, and the new TV is so lucrative that the English clubs have a huge financial advantage over the rest of Europe.
Consider German giants Bayern Munich, one of the top five richest clubs in the world. According to Deloitte, in 2014 Bayern’s total revenue from TV rights (both Champions League and Bundesliga) was £90.1 million. Five Premier League clubs earned more than that this year just from domestic rights. Add in the £40-50 million from Champions League football, and suddenly Bayern is at a financial disadvantage to Premier League clubs who can afford to pay more in transfer fees and wages than anyone else in Europe.
Fallen Italian giants Inter Milan had total revenue, from all sources, of £137.1 million in 2014. Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City will make more than that just from domestic and European TV rights. Under FFP there is no way that Inter will ever be able to attract the kind of top players they need to become a European power again. And that is why FFP will go away. Because without it, nobody will be able to compete with even a mid-table English team for players.