Did you know that the Premier League brings in more money than over 50 entire countries? In Britain, it does more than some of the country’s biggest supermarket chains.
Even if we prefer to think otherwise, football is a business. It is a fact. And within the industry, the Premier League is the clear leader.
But how big is the Premier League in terms of finances? How important is it to the UK economy? This disguised lion slot machine is indeed powerful given that it only involves 20 clubs.
Let’s put this into perspective and find out the true economic impact of the Premier League.
How much does the Premier League earn?
GVA (Gross Value Added) is the amount a company or sector contributes to a country’s GDP, and according to an analysis by Ernst & Young Financial Services, the Premier League made a full contribution to the GVA of £7.6 billion ($9.9 billion) to UK GDP for the 2019-20 season.
Yes, it’s the 2019-20 season, when the Premier League, like the rest of the world, was hit by Covid-19 halfway through. These figures could therefore be even higher.
Let’s take a closer look at these numbers:
Of that £7.6bn ($9.9bn), £3.9bn ($5bn) was generated by the ‘direct impact’, coming directly from the Premier League and its clubs, such as commercial revenue and matchdays, employees, broadcasting and sponsors.
£1.5bn ($1.9bn) came from the ‘indirect impact’, which is all of the economic activity generated through club and Premier League supply chains as a result of the direct impact, such as the construction industry or the hospitality sector.
The final £2.1bn ($2.7bn) came from “induced impact”; all production and employment generated by the consumption of goods and services, such as TV licenses or TV engineers.
How much money does the Premier League bring to the UK economy?
In 2020/2021, the UK’s GDP was around £2.2 billion ($2.9 billion).
The manufacturing sector, for example, contributed 18% of this total. Real estate represented 11.5% and agriculture 0.6%.
Another such sector is sports and entertainment, to which the Premier League belongs. So how much did this unique organization contribute to the country’s total GDP?
That’s a little less than BP, one of Britain’s biggest companies, which accounts for 0.42% of the national economy, but much more than Tesco, which reaches 0.18%, or Astrazeneca. In 2020, a big year for them, Astrazeneca contributed 0.15% of UK GDP.
Compared to other major football leagues, the Premier League leads the race. The Bundesliga generates around €5.1bn (£3.9bn/$6.6bn) a year, which is 0.2% of the German economy. La Liga, on the other hand, contributes 0.1% of Spain’s GDP, with around €1bn (£770m/$1.31bn).
The Premier League is a business and like any company doing business in the UK, it pays tax.
In 2019/20, for example, his business accounted for a total of £3.6 billion ($4.7 billion) in taxes for the UK government. This was enough to pay 2.5% of the total base budget of the NHS (National Health Service) in 2020.
If the Premier League was a country, how would its finances compare to others?
This figure here is the global GDP in 2021: £62.5 billion (£82 billion)
The Premier League alone contributes 0.01% of that number.
In the International Monetary Fund’s list of countries by GDP, the United States is first, followed by China, while Tajikistan – with a total of £8.1 billion ($10 billion) – ranks 149th. position.
If the Prem were a country, it would be in 150th position, currently occupied by Guyana with a GDP of £7.4 billion ($9.6 billion).
It might be called Premierland, or whatever name you like, but if the Premier League was a true sovereign state:
- It would be the 150th largest economy in the world, in addition to countries like Andorra, San Marino and the Maldives.
- Its GDP is said to be 158 times greater than that of Tuvalu, the last country on the list.
- Its economy is said to be just over half that of Malta and just under half that of Iceland.
- Compared to that of the USA? About 2263 times smaller. Still a long way to go.
That’s the size of the biggest football company in the world. Bigger than some traditional companies, and even bigger than some countries.
Undoubtedly, an important player in the British economy.