June 5 - Wages in the UK Premier League have increased significantly despite top flight football clubs in Germany and Spain reining them in. But, as Sonia Legg reports, the latest Deloitte's Review of Football Finance shows you can't always buy success.
It's how most people watch soccer these days and it's funding the sport like never before. Twenty years ago the five main leagues in Europe received around half a billion euros in tv revenue. In 2012/13 is was more than 4 and half billion - that's a growth rate of 14% a year. England's Premiership takes the lion's share and that's largely down to the high percentage of top talent from abroad. Mark Roberts is from Deloitte's Sports Business Group which compiled the review. SOUNDBITE: MARK ROBERTS, SENIOR MANAGER, SPORTS BUSINESS GROUP AT DELOITTE, SAYING: "If you look at the strong overseas broadcast deals they are in places like the Middle East and the Far East - There is just a clamour from the wide population there to see the Premier league as a product." Total revenues for Premier League clubs rose 1% to more than €2.9bln They're likely to be close to €4bln next season. It was Europe's most lucrative league, ahead of Germany's Bundesliga and Spain's La Liga. But wages are a problem - at least they are in England. The Premier League spends 71% of its revenue on wages - 15% more than Spain and 20% more than Germany which is Europe's most profitable league. SOUNDBITE: MARK ROBERTS, SENIOR MANAGER, SPORTS BUSINESS GROUP AT DELOITTE, SAYING: "We've seen the other four leagues reduce their wage to revenue ratio so England is now on a par with Italy - Germany, Spain and France are below that". But it seems you can buy success - Manchester City, the English League winners, spent £233m on wages - almost five times what the lowest placed team spent. And the lower leagues are desperate for some of the action. England's second tier Championship clubs actually spent more on wages than they made, trying to win that lucrative promotion. That's not a sustainable model of course but then football isn't like any other business. New financial fair play rules from governing body UEFA should help make clubs live within their means. So will that put off foreign buyers? SOUNDBITE: MARK ROBERTS, SENIOR MANAGER, SPORTS BUSINESS GROUP AT DELOITTE, SAYING: "Now half the premier league are owned by foreign entities or foreign organisations.I think that demand from foreign investors is still quite strong - they are still very much seen as trophy assets that people still want to be owning, particularly with the global exposure of the clubs". The World Cup - which starts next week - will add to that exposure - no doubt taking Europe's total football market - currently €19.9 billion - past the 20 billion mark.