Do Premier League teams make money?

The Premier League is one of the richest sports leagues in the world and features players worth millions. However, you may be surprised to hear that Premier League teams are not massive profit-makers. 

Do Premier League teams make money? The majority of Premier League teams do not make money with the majority having losses season on season even before the Covid-19 pandemic. This is not to be confused with the value of a Premier League Club, despite the lack of profits their brand names and status in one of the world’s most popular sporting leagues still holds a great deal of value.

In it for the money? A motley panel of Premier League Owners

Despite Premier League teams spending hundreds of millions per year, they often make a loss year on year because their expenses outweigh their incomes. In terms of an investment, a Premier League team is not the sort to make money every year, with owners needing to be a fan of the team they are buying and needing to have a lot of money to invest into teams. 

Premier League teams often get their spending money from either loans or investment from their owners. They very rarely are able to use their profit to reinvest in the club because they don’t make a profit. Teams just spend so much on wages and transfers that they can’t make money. 

Which Premier League teams make a profit? 

The large majority of Premier League teams do not make a profit however over the last few years we have still seen exceptions. Over the last two years, there have been four teams able to make a profit. 

These teams to make a profit are Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle and Norwich. These are the four teams to produce comfortable profits while Aston Villa and Burnley have been able to just about break even over the last couple of years. These are the only Premier League teams to make a profit over the last couple of years, with the rest losing money over that period. 

10 Most Profitable Clubs in European Football 2019-21
European ClubNet Profit (estimated)
Chelsea£33 million
Napoli£30 million
Liverpool£29 million
Atalanta£26 million
Ajax£20 million
Newcastle£14 million
Villarreal£12 million
AZ Alkmaar£8 million
RB Leipzig£4 million
Norwich City£3 million

Why do Premier League teams have so much money? 

There are a few different reasons why Premier League teams have so much money. Here are some of those reasons. 

1. TV Revenue 

In the 2021-22 season each Premier League team received £79 million for their share of the TV money. This is around the same figure every year and it is why it is so valuable for teams to get into the Premier League. The League has various deals with TV companies that bring in a huge amount of money and the majority of this money is shared between the teams. 

This money really starts to build up when teams can stay in the Premier League for multiple years as each team gets the same amount of money for TV no matter where they finish in the table at the end of the season. 

2. Prize Money 

Alongside the money from TV deals Premier League teams will also receive prize money in the League and in cup competitions. It is a sliding scale in the league with League winners Manchester City receiving £53.1 million for winning in 2021-22 and Norwich finishing bottom of the league receiving just £2.7 million. 

Premier League teams will also receive prize money from the other competitions that they are in. All Premier League teams play at least one game in the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup, while some of the teams will also receive money for playing in Europe, with the Champions League prize money being a major income source for top teams. 

3. Merchandising and Tickets 

Fans of Premier League teams are the major income sources for these teams. Premier League home games are a major factor in teams bringing in money and each home game is highly profitable for teams. This was the area where Premier League teams lost out during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

One of the major sources of income for Premier League teams that you do not see as much is merchandising. Shirt sales are hugely profitable for Premier League teams and Premier League teams have a variety of merchandise that fans like to buy. With fans always looking to get the newest kit, it is a huge way that Premier League teams make money. 

4. Sponsorship

Due to the huge number of people who watch the Premier League, teams make millions through sponsorship deals. Companies are able to sponsor a huge amount of things including shirt sponsorship, Stadium name deals and even hydration sponsors are common in football and bring a huge amount of money to Premier League teams. 

5. Rich Owners 

As Premier League teams do not make a profit they need some sort of outside investment to keep them running and these come from two main sources. The first of those is the wealth of the owners investing into the teams. 

To own a Premier League team you need to be a Billionaire or have a group of people worth a Billion. That is because major investment is needed into the club every year to keep it going and often these teams do not make a profit. Owners put a lot of money into the teams and only get a return when they decide to sell the team. 

6. Loans 

One of the surprising ways that Premier League teams make money is through taking loans. Almost all Premier League teams are in debt because they take on some huge loans. Even the big spenders like Manchester United and Tottenham are in a lot of debt with both teams nearing £1 billion in debt. 

It is surprising that these teams take on such big loans but it is because they believe investing in the team will bring profits in the future and make the team more valuable in the future. 

7. Player Sales

Many clubs stay afloat by using their in house academies to develop talent and sell them on to bigger clubs across the Premier League and Europe for large profits.

This is a risky way to run a club, while it may keep you in the black and MAYBE even in the Premier League itself there are no guarantees you will develop talent of enough value to continue. In addition, passionate fans may become frustrated constantly seeing their homegrown heroes lifting trophies for other clubs once they are done cheering for them.

Do Premier League clubs pay for policing? 

There is always a big police presence at any Premier League game, particularly the rivalry games. So do Premier League teams pay for this? Premier League teams pay the majority of the fee for policing at Premier League games. 

On average it costs around £11,000 to the police for every Premier League game. Teams will pay £8,500 of this and the remaining £2,500 will be paid by the police. The amount of money spent on policing Premier League games is a very contentious point. 


Life long Portsmouth Fan and have followed football since 1993. Is there a better sport on earth?

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