Premier League may be the most expensive football league in the world, but the cumulative net debt of Premier League clubs surpassed £3 billion for the first time in a decade. The COVID-19 pandemic made the situation even worse. In this article, we will look at the ranking of the Premier League clubs with the most debts.
20. Aston Villa [£0m]
The impact of the COVID pandemic had a major effect on the financial results. Although turnover for the year was £112.6m, substantially up from £54.3m in the previous year, the unexpected cost of the pandemic contributed to a total loss of £99.2m compared to £68.9m in 2018-19. However, thanks to the unwavering support of their Owners, the operating loss and all capital investment has been funded by shareholder equity. Aston Villa remains debt-free.
19. Newcastle United [£0m}
Newcastle United had debt over £111m owed to previous owner Mike Ashley, however, with the takeover of the club by Saudi Public Investment Fund, the club is now debt free. The £300m deal has been funded by the country’s Public Investment Fund, which is seen as separate from the state, finally allowing the bid to go through. They are backed by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salman, and are set to make massive investments in the years to come.
18. Norwich City [£14m]
Norwich have bounced between the top two divisions over the past decade – promoted to the Premier League in 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2021, and relegated to the Championship in 2014, 2016 and 2020. The club have unveiled their annual accounts, which show the “significant” impact the pandemic had. The club gross debt stands at £14m.
17. Leeds United [£49.1m]
Leeds United lost £62 million during the 2019-20 season amid the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Marcelo Bielsa’s side won promotion to the Premier League last season, finishing top of the Championship as they returned to the top flight for the first time in 16 years. Turnover at Elland Road did leap to £54 million, from £48 million the year prior. This was projected to hit £56 million before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
16. Brentford [£74m]
Brentford FC gross debt rose £17m from £57m to £74m, with the majority owed to owner Matthew Benham (£60m). Matthew said he was able to bid his money on the team because he has been watching Brentford play since he was 11. He said he trusted the team completely and would still believe in them even if they cost him his money.
15. Crystal Palace [£84m]
The South London club Crystal Palace announced a pre-tax loss of £58 million for 2019-20. The club has zero net debt at the end of July 2020 with a cash position of £ 58.4 million, largely attributable to the borrowing. The lower revenues were not matched by a drop in wages, which went up from £120 million to £132.4 million, taking the wage-to-income ratio to 93%. The total gross debt is £84m.
14. Burnley [£90m]
The pandemic meant matchday income was down by £1.7m to £4.6m, broadcasting dropped to £113.5m from £115m and commercial income slipped to £15.7m from £16.5m. The £170m US takeover has used the club’s own money and loaded it with debt. It is understood ALK have so far paid £102million towards the Burnley takeover, with around £60million raised through a loan provided by Michael Dell’s MSD UK Holdings. The club is now approximately £90m worse off, with interest to pay.
13. Southampton [£92.6m]
Despite finishing in 11th place in the 2019/20 Premier League season (five places higher than the previous season), the Group’s turnover decreased to £126.6m (2019: £149.6m). Broadcasting revenue fell to £93.5m (2019: £112.8m) as a consequence of the season-ending after 30 June 2020, whilst match day revenue fell to £14.5m (2019: £17.0m) due to matches being played behind closed-doors. The club’s overall debt has climbed from £32.1 million to £92.6 million.