Premier League set to use £7.6bn economic impact as Brexit bargaining chip

The Premier League contributed £7.6bn (€8.7/$9.9bn) to the British economy in the 2016-17 season, including £3.3bn in tax, according to a new report from professional services firm Ernst & Young.

EY last undertook an investigation into the economic impact of English football’s top flight in the 2013/14 season, since which time – in line with the findings of yesterday’s Deloitte Money League report – the contribution of the 20 Premier League clubs to the economy has grown dramatically.

Then, the overall gross value added was £3.4bn, less than half the new headline figure. The clubs’ tax payments have rocketed by 50 per cent, from £2.4bn to £3.3bn, in the space of three seasons. £4.3bn of the total £7.6bn comes directly from the clubs – a 30-per-cent increase over 2013-14, meaning they are supporting the equivalent of 100,000 full-time jobs. The tax figure includes an estimated £1.1bn paid by the 1,500 registered professional Premier League players alone.

The league and its clubs alike are expected to use the report as a key bargaining chip to secure new immigration arrangements after Brexit, according to The Times. As it stands, the FA is hoping to use Britain’s departure from the EU to introduce an increased homegrown player quota, from 8 per 25-man squad to 12, which the Premier League may accept if it is allowed free access to players from anywhere in the world.

“The broad position before the referendum was that on balance the clubs were cautious Remainers,” Bill Bush, executive director of the Premier League, said. “There are Brexit outcomes which could be quite positive for the Premier League and Brexit outcomes which could be harmful. We are concerned because of the uncertainty.”