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The Richest Premier League Clubs and How They Plan For Profitability

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The average Premier League club is worth $1.51 billion (USD).

Teams with equivalent (and even higher) valuations have one thing in common, we’ve discovered: a holistic strategy that drives success on and off the field.

We rounded up the top 12 richest Premier League clubs according to their:

  • Valuation
  • Revenue
  • YoY growth
  • Operating income

We also break down what makes them so successful, particularly how they plan for profitability, and how their tactics can inform other professional sports teams’ financial planning strategies.

(If you want to learn about North America's most profitable sports teams and their strategies for increasing profits, read this article instead.)

Here’s the Verdict on the Richest Premier League Clubs

Club Valuation Revenue Value Growth (%) Operating Income
Manchester United $6 billion $779 million 30 $108 million
Liverpool $5.29 billion $793 million 19 $129 million
Manchester City $4.99 billion $815 million 18 $175 million
Chelsea $3.1 billion $642 million 0 $35 million
Tottenham Hotspur $2.8 billion $591 million 19 $152 million
Arsenal $2.26 billion $490 million 10 $108 million
West Ham United $1.08 billion $340 million 20 $98 million
Crystal Palace $806 million $214 million - $22 million
Newcastle United $794 million $240 million 51 $-32 million
Leicester City* $781 million $285 million -16 $-1 million
Aston Villa $756 million $238 million 1 -
Everton $744 million $242 million -21 $-23 million

Source: Forbes

*Leicester City was relegated from the Premier League last season and now play in the Championship. We've included them because they're one of the UK's richest clubs and look like they will be promoted back to the Premier League as they're runaway leaders in the Championship.

7 Ways the Richest Premier League Clubs Plan for Profitability

Premier League teams, like any successful corporate organisation, use various strategies to increase and hold on to profits. 

We’ll go over seven of these strategies, including tips and tools you can use to plan for your own profitability as a professional sports organisation. 


A text graphic listing "7 Ways UK Sports Teams Can Plan for Profitability"

1. Secure Support From Sponsors

Sponsorship deals inject large amounts of revenue into premier league clubs. Shirt sponsorship and kit supply deals are among the most lucrative forms of sponsorship. These deals contribute directly to the teams’ revenue. 

For example, Manchester City's partnership with Etihad Airways generated £67.5 million in annual revenue last year, making it the most valuable shirt sponsorship deal in the 2022/23 season. Liverpool, Manchester United and other teams also earned substantial revenue through similar deals. 


The funds generated from these sponsorships are often used to cover various costs associated with running a professional football team, such as 

  • Player salaries
  • Operating costs
  • Facility maintenance
  • And other expenses

Sponsors, in turn, gain increased brand recognition and exposure, as the Premier League is the most watched football league globally

How To Secure Sports Sponsorships

Use quantitative data to show potential sponsors why they should work with you. 

For example, numbers like ticket sales and game attendance can help sponsors see a solid reason to collaborate with your team — it shows them the level of exposure their brand will likely get from the partnership.

With Vena for Professional Sports, you can integrate data from ticketing systems like Archtics and SeatGeek and sponsorship and fan engagement software such as Airship and KORE with your financial planning. This allows you to easily source the quantitative data you need to make a compelling case to sponsors. 

Exec Dash 3

Exec Dash 4

Executive dashboards created in Vena highlighting your most important metrics (such as game attendance, expenses and revenue). 

2. Increase Ticket Sales 

Ticket sales are a primary source of revenue for sports organisations. 

The richest Premier League Clubs earn millions of pounds per game through ticket sales (and other matchday-related activities). 

Manchester United, for example, attracts an average of 52,983 attendees per game, generating £3.01 million on average from each game.


With consistent, growing income, UK sports teams like ManU can plan ahead and invest in their team’s success. The crowd's energy and support also help motivate players to bring their A-game, making them more likely to win. 

How To Increase Ticket Sales 

Use scenario modeling to find the optimal balance between ticket prices and sales volume to achieve the highest overall revenue. 

The goal is to understand how changes in drivers (like attendance) will affect revenue and expenses, then make ticket prices attractive enough to encourage higher sales (without sacrificing overall income).

To do this, you’ll want to look at: 

  • Number of tickets sold and their prices (pull this from the ticketing platform you use for your events, such as Archtics or SeatGeek)
  • Customer demographic data, feedback, and satisfaction scores from Salesforce or other CRM tools you use
  • Revenue and expense data for each event from your accounting system or ERP

Next, develop different scenarios to understand how changes in drivers (like attendance) will affect revenue and expenses. 

For example, your scenarios could be: 

  • Scenario 1: Increase ticket prices with an anticipated slight decrease in sales volume
  • Scenario 2: Use dynamic pricing based on customer demographics
  • Scenario 3: Offer discounts for specific events to increase sales volume

Experiment with different ticket prices in each scenario to analyse how changes impact sales volume and overall revenue. 

Then use break-even analysis to determine the feasibility of the ticket price, compare the results of each scenario and identify the scenario that achieves the optimal balance between ticket prices and sales volume. 

3. Use Digital and Social Media Platforms to Your Advantage

Digital and social media platforms allow sports teams to directly engage with their fan base through regular updates, behind-the-scenes content, and other content types. 

These channels include:

  • Official website and mobile app
  • Social media like TikTok and Instagram
  • Video and streaming platforms like YouTube

How To Cash in on Digital and Social Media Platforms

Identify influencers in the sports and entertainment industry who resonate with your team's values and target audience. Then collaborate with them to create content, such as sponsored posts, shoutouts or collaborative videos.

For example, in 2019, Manchester City partnered with 41 influencers to increase brand awareness, highlighting how amazing the season was. Some influencers shared photos of themselves having fun wearing the team's merch.

Manchester City Influencer Campaign 1

A photo shared by a content creator as part of Manchester City’s influencer campaign. Source: The Cirqle 

The campaign generated:

  • Nearly 7 million impressions
  • More than 500,000 post engagements
  • $35 ROI for every $1 invested

Ask influencers to create creative captions highlighting their passion for the team while wearing the gear.

Beyond influencer marketing, you can also:

  • Ask fans to share photos of themselves wearing the team's gear, share them on your account or reward the best photos with exclusive prizes
  • Share behind-the-scenes footage, training sessions and player interviews to give fans a closer look at the team
  • Use relevant hashtags to increase your chances of getting discovered on platforms like Twitter and Instagram

4. Invest in Developing Young Talents to Create a Healthy Pipeline

The goal of a talent pipeline is to cultivate a steady stream of skilled players who progress through the ranks and ultimately contribute to the senior team.

These young talents enter structured development programs within the club's youth academy to improve their technical skills and instil the club's playing philosophy, values and work ethic.

Exceptional talents train and learn from the first team, adapt to their style of play and showcase their abilities to the coaching staff. Some players are loaned to other clubs to learn from different playing styles, environments and pressures. Those who prove themselves are eventually integrated into the senior team.

Chelsea Football Academy has successfully executed this strategy — integrating homegrown talents into the first team. 

Players like Mason Mount, Lewis Hall and Reece James have emerged from the club's youth system and become key contributors to the senior squad’s successes (before some left the club in 2021). 

As a result, Chelsea has earned  £92.8 million from the development and subsequent transfers of talented players from its youth academy in 10+ years.

How To Plan for a Healthy Talent Pipeline

Prioritise a long-term developmental approach over short-term gains. 

Use budgeting and forecasting software to allocate adequate financial resources to various components of the talent pipeline, such as youth academies, coaching staff, facilities and scouting networks. 

With software like Vena, you can ensure your budgets align with your club’s financial goals using driver-based budgeting.

5. Establish a Scouting and Transfer Strategy 

Acquiring players with growth potential often leads to increased market value, letting clubs sell players at higher transfer fees in the future. Aston Villa earned £100m from transferring Jack Grealish to Man City.

Having a well-managed transfer strategy also helps you adhere to Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations and avoid penalties. 

UK sports teams have to balance their expenditures with revenues over a set period to avoid overspending on operational costs like player acquisitions. 

If they fail to comply with FFP, they risk facing penalties, including fines, transfer bans or exclusion from competitions. 

Everton, for example, was docked 10 points for breaching Financial Fair Play rules. The club’s losses in the 2021/22 season amounted to £124.5 million

Chelsea, on the other hand, runs a high-risk loan model. 

The club paid £195 million in fees in January 2023 alone, signing players like David Datro Fofana, Noni Madueke, and João Félix (on loan). 

Most players sign lengthy contracts, which keeps Chelsea compliant with FFP rules as the cost of the deal is spread over the length of their contracts.

How To Stay FFP Compliant During Scouting and Player Transfers 

Create a realistic plan for player transfers, considering transfer and agent fees, signing bonuses and add-ons. 

Specifically, you’ll want to:

  • Monitor the budget and financial performance against your actual plan
  • Make adjustments during the transfer window to ensure FFP compliance
  • Report to stakeholders, giving them clear and up-to-date information

This way, your financial reports accurately reflect your club's financial position and meet FFP reporting requirements. 

Financial planning and analysis software makes these processes easier by allowing you to automatically calculate departmental budget to actual variances and deliver reports to your department owners, executives and the league office on demand.

6. Create Hospitality Packages Tailored to Corporate Clients and Fans

Hospitality packages help sports teams diversify their sources of income, as corporate clients and fans are willing to pay for exclusive services and amenities. 

Liverpool is famous for its Premier League hospitality. 

Its Premier Club hospitality packages include a hot and cold buffet before the game, padded seats for the match in the Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand, access to the Shanks or Paisley suite and half-time tea and coffee. 

How To Plan Hospitality Packages

Use scenario analysis to model different potential hospitality package offerings and pricing structures. This helps you understand the potential financial impact of various strategies so you can make data-driven decisions.

Vena makes it easy to explore various scenarios by allowing you to manage multiple models in one database, dynamically updating the data for you as you switch between models.

You can also use Vena to: 

  • Integrate financial data from various sources such as your ERP and ticketing systems
  • Create detailed budgets for hospitality packages, including revenue projections, cost estimates and profit margins
  • Forecast potential financial outcomes based on different scenarios
  • Generate detailed financial reports to analyse the success of different hospitality packages
  • Collaborate with team members from different departments

7. Seek Opportunities To Host Other Events in the Stadium

Hosting alternate sporting and non-sporting events such as concerts, conferences or cultural events provides additional revenue streams beyond regular sports fixtures.

It also ensures your venue is used more frequently, maximising its potential and reducing downtime.

For example, while West Ham United has a deal with London Stadium to use the pitch on most Saturdays, the Cubs and Cardinals also have a similar deal

Tottenham Hotspur and the NFL also have a partnership where Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will be the Home of the NFL in the UK

How To Plan for Optimal Use of Your Stadium

Use capital expense planning to estimate costs associated with venue preparation, logistics, security, and other considerations.

It helps to allocate human and material resources, ensuring that the stadium is adequately prepared for different types of events without unnecessary expenditures.

Complete Planning Software Built for Professional Sports

Complete Planning software like Vena consolidates financial and operational data from your various sources into a centralised database. This eliminates data silos and ensures that all relevant financial information is stored in one place.

With Vena’s flexible budgeting and forecasting, sports teams can create detailed financial plans, allocate resources strategically and forecast potential outcomes based on different scenarios. 

For example, Vena has helped multiple NFL franchises win on and off the field. 

The Kansas City Chiefs used to have three separate software for budgeting, financial statements and monthly departmental reporting, making it tough to consolidate data without a high degree of manual effort. Gameday revenue settlements, for example, took up to four hours to complete.

But using Vena for Professional Sports, the Kansas City Chiefs were able to:

Vena is making headway with Premier League clubs too, now working with Luton Town Football Club to power their financial planning.


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