English clubs have been warned that rising wage bills and a reliance on generous owners will lead to more clubs facing a financial crisis, according to Deloitte.
“We appear to be seeing a continuing shift from a sustainable ‘not for profit’ model towards one with potentially calamitous consistent and significant loss-making characteristics,” said Dan Jones, of Deloitte's Sport Business Group, in the introduction to the company's Annual Review of Football Finance, looking at the 2008-09 season.
“A model of profit maximisation is now pursued by a very limited number of clubs and, whilst some clubs seek to break-even on a consistent basis, the emerging norm for many Premier League and Championship clubs appears to require significant on-going benefactor support.”
The Premier League's profits of £79 million in 2008-09 were its lowest since 1999-00, primarily due to wage inflation of £132 million.
The Football League fairs even worse in the report, where 86 per cent of club revenues are being spent on wages - 'a huge, and ultimately unsustainable, financial challenge' according to the report.
In the rest of Europe, figures from the report included Germany's Bundesliga overtaking Spain's La Liga to become the second biggest revenue generating league behind the Premier League. Bundesliga revenues grew 10 per cent to €1.575 billion, the highest growth in the big five.