Deloitte's latest review of football finance found that despite wage costs increasing by 12% to £2.3bn, Premier League clubs recorded a third consecutive season of operating profits in excess of £500m in 2015/16.
These clubs have generated combined operating profits of over £1.6bn over the past three seasons, the sports business group at Deloitte said.
Meanwhile, the 92 Premier League and Football League clubs generated £4.4bn in the 2015/16 season, despite capital expenditure raising by 3% to £313m, which was also a new record.
But Championship clubs spent more on wages than they generated in revenues for the third time in four seasons.
Broadcast revenue accounted for more than half of Premier League clubs’ total revenue and has almost doubled since 2008/09 to £1.9bn.
Dan Jones, partner in the sports business group at Deloitte, said, “Even in the final year of its old broadcast contracts, Premier League revenues continued to set new records.
“In the 2015/16 season, the ‘Big Six’ clubs participated in the group stages of UEFA competitions and benefitted from improved UEFA broadcast rights deals, which resulted in an increase in distributions to participating English clubs of around £100m.”
Jones added that, with the commencement of the new Premier League broadcast rights cycle in 2016/17, supported by new commercial agreements at clubs and matchday revenue growth from new and expanded stadia, Premier League clubs’ revenues are expected to rise to over £4.5bn in 2017/18.
Moreover, Premier League clubs spent a record £1.3bn on transfers during the 2015/16 season. The previous record was £1.1bn. Net debt within the top league fell for the third consecutive season, by £125m to £2.2bn.
Deloitte said that the Premier League and Football League clubs contributed £1.6bn to the government in taxes in 2015/16.
Elsewhere, the European football market revenues reached almost €25bn (£22.29bn) in the same season, a 13% increase on 2014/15.
This was driven by continued growth in broadcast rights values in European football’s biggest leagues, and the impact of UEFA Euro 2016.
The ‘big five’ European leagues grew collective revenues by €1.4bn (12%) to a record €13.4bn in 2015/16.