A new report set to be released by UEFA regarding the poor financial health of European soccer, shows the English Premier League shoulders most of the blame. The financial report entitled “European Footballing Landscape”, claims that England’s top flight teams account for 56% of Europe’s total soccer debt.
Even worse for English soccer is the fact that its two most financially stricken clubs, Portsmouth and West Ham, were not even included in the report. Portsmouth has been in the news throughout the season for all the wrong reasons, as on multiple occasions the club hasn’t had the funds to pay players’ wages.
Many in the soccer world find it hard to believe that the English clubs’ debt has been allowed to spiral so far out of control, despite the Premier League earning significantly more from television and commercial earnings than any other league in the world. The combined debt of the Premier League clubs (not including Portsmouth and West Ham) is estimated at $5.4 billion, with Manchester United and Liverpool accounting for over $1.5 billion themselves. The Premier League’s debt is more than all other UEFA leagues combined and nearly four times that of the second most indebted league, La Liga in Spain.
The eye opening statistics of the report will likely lead to more vocal support for UEFA to go ahead with it’s proposed Financial Fair Play Rules, which will require clubs to break even from 2012-2013.