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Football in a stadium | AccountingWEB | Premier League makes £32bn tax contribution
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Premier League makes £32bn tax contribution

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As Euros fever grips the nation, a new report has highlighted the major tax contribution the Premier League has made as wages soar and matchday revenues rise.

18th Jun 2024
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Premier League clubs have contributed £32bn of taxes since the competition’s inception more than 30 years ago, according to a new study, which shows that the Big Six are responsible for about 50% of the total.

The International Sports Tax Association (ISTA), in collaboration with football finance expert Kieran Maguire, is behind the Tax Impact of the Premier League report.

It shows that an estimated £25.6bn in employment taxes have been collected by HMRC from clubs in the top flight – an upside to high wages for players.

Global growth

A total of £6.4bn has also been collected in VAT from broadcasting and matchday ticket sales, although the report notes that the figures are conservative as they “do not take into consideration indirect tax benefits to the UK economy due to the increased popularity of the Premier League as a driver of increased tourism and hospitality revenues”.

With broadcasting rights – which have played an instrumental role in the growth of the Premier League globally – the study looked at revenue from the domestic rights since Sky signed the first such deal in 1992 for £304m.

Over the period, the matchday domestic revenue generated from broadcasting the Premier League “has reached over £23.3bn”, with £4.4bn collected in VAT. From 2012 to 2022, the VAT collected doubled.

With matchday revenue also steadily rising over the past 30 years, VAT receipts have too, with more than £1.9bn in VAT having been collected by clubs in the Premier League from ticket sales.

Chelsea top the table

The Big Six were, unsurprisingly, major contributors to the £32bn total, with Chelsea sitting atop the table after HMRC collected an estimated £2.58bn.

Manchester United (£2.55bn), Manchester City (£2.35bn), Liverpool (£2.26bn), Arsenal (£1.96bn) and Tottenham (£1.39bn) sit below them.

Sofia Thomas of ISTA said: “There is a lot of negative attention given to players’ wages from some sources but what is ignored is that a lot of money is flowing into the UK economy as a result of the Premier League’s global appeal.

“This is only likely to increase further in future years as more matches and bigger stadiums will drive higher revenues.”

Co-author Maguire, from the University of Liverpool, added: “Football has become the biggest ticket in town as demonstrated by Premier League matchday seat occupancy rates of over 98%.

“While clubs have a broader responsibility to sell tickets at affordable prices to fans, there is still scope to increase the tax benefits to the UK from one of its most recognised brands.”

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By JustAnotherUser
18th Jun 2024 11:10

No link to the report?

The International Sports Tax Association (ISTA), in collaboration with football finance expert Kieran Maguire, is behind the tax impact of the Premier League report.

It feels low at first glance but that's to do with the £32bn being over 30 year, the annual wage bill for clubs alone is over 35m a week / 1.8b .

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By AS44NG
18th Jun 2024 22:18

It is a fantasy football league now where bang average players get paid millions a year. As a long suffering Forest fan I know this too well.

Still, it isn't my money. Well sort of, I do reluctantly still pay for my ticket though the match day prices are eye watering at times.

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By FactChecker
18th Jun 2024 22:35

"There is a lot of negative attention given to players’ wages from some sources but what is ignored is that a lot of money is flowing into the UK economy as a result of the Premier League’s global appeal."

But 'a lot of money' doesn't mean it's the correct amount of money (I'm no expert in this sphere but the amount that evaporates through image rights paid to international companies set-up by players and via agents and so on is a very substantial portion of the total).
And it's very poor economics if the suggestion is that this is 'extra money' ... it's an exaggerated distribution (from many to a few) of expenditure that if not spent on Sky subscriptions, match tickets, etc would be spent on something else - and the something else would have people receiving income, on which they paid tax (probably without the leeway for avoiding much of it).

This reads like the most one-sided puffery I've seen in quite some time.
International Sports Tax Association Limited is almost brand new (with no accounts due or filed yet) - and judging from its website is a Special Interest Group focussed on promoting its interest.

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By mkowl
19th Jun 2024 08:13

Kieran is an academic and I have had the odd X /Twitter exchange with him about his analytical skills. He had no clue about the concept of group relief as an example. Had to correct him a few times when he gave his input into the football team I support annual accounts. Our owner made them interesting thats for sure

But good luck to him, he has become the go to "expert" in the media despite just really copying and pasting what the annual accounts show and bamboozling the local journalists with long words

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By Gerry Brown
19th Jun 2024 10:16

This is a Tory headline!!

The headline includes a figure of £32bn. The reader has to scroll through the text to learn that this is a cumulative figure based on over 30 years of the PL's operation.

In the current election we have become used to stretching the limits of matematics to make dubious points.

I didn't think AccountingWeb would stoop so low!

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