We all know the Premier League is basically a giant trough full of money that gets sloshed around to its 20 clubs every season, and that that trough is platinum-lined, gilt-edged, and propped up by all of us. But today, we found out exactly how big that money trough is, and it's...rather large.
Premier League reveals payments to clubs in 2015-16 pic.twitter.com/ed2vi6nE7G— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) May 24, 2016
Here's what all that means:
- EQUAL SHARE: is what it says
- FACILITY FEES: £747,922 per live UK TV appearance
- MERIT PAYMENT: Starts at, and increases by, £1,242,405 for each league finishing position
- OVERSEAS TV: Split equally between all 20 clubs
- CENTRAL COMMERCIAL: revenue generated by the Premier League and not by the individual clubs, split equally
So, when you add up all those numbers, lookit who is on top of the Premier League money table! Arsenal! They edged out the Manchesters and Tottenham to be the only club earning nine figures' worth of TV money this season. That will, of course, all change next season - this year's bottom team, Aston Villa, made £66 million from TV rights, and next season they'd have made £97 million by finishing 20th. Arsenal, if they finish in the same second place position next season, will trouser £144 million just from TV alone.
THIS IS WHERE ALL THE CAVEATS START
Arsenal do not all of a sudden have £100 million to spend on players, as some people estimate:
The Arsenal Supporters' Trust estimate that Arsenal have approximately £100m to spend this summer (includes transfer of Granit Xhaka).— FK² (@fkhanage) May 23, 2016
I don't know exactly what Arsenal's budget is this summer. Neither do you. We can guess, we can estimate, but until and unless Arsenal says "we've got X to spend", any number we come up with is wishcasting. But! That doesn't mean we can't do that - it just means we're probably wrong. So, basically, when you see articles like this that talk about how Arsenal have just pocketed £100 million from TV rights (yes, I know it doesn't work like that, it's paid over the season), don't assume that that sum is all earmarked for player purchases, because it is not.
Arsenal will be active in the market, by all accounts - but they're never going to take all their TV money and spend it on players as fast as they get it. That's not how the club works, and if that's your expectation, I would suggest that your expectations should probably shift a bit. Still, Arsenal finished first in SOMETHING this season, so that's a fun little thing.