For the first time in 15 years English Premier League's clubs have recorded its first combined pre-tax profit. How have they done it? Grace Pascoe reports.
Wayne Rooney is one of the world's highest paid soccer players. The Manchester United star earns around £300,000 a week. But sky high pay packets aren't rising as much as they used to. New rules to restrain salaries seem to be paying dividends - for the clubs at least. Only 58% of revenue was spent on players salaries last season - down from 71 per cent the previous year. And a report by Deloitte shows that after 15 years the UK's Premier League is back in the black. Jeremy Batstone-Carr of Charles Stanley. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) CHARLES STANLEY, CHIEF ECONOMIST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "The Premier League has announced a trading profit of 190 million pounds. Firstly of course the league has been the beneficiary of broadcasting company munificence. (cough- so cover) And secondly, because player salaries have been kept under a certain degree of control." Overall profit was nearly 4 times more than the previous record set 17 years ago (£49 mln 1997-1998). Premier League revenues were up by almost a third to more than 3 billion pounds (29% £2.5- £3.3bln). But wages grew by just 6%, far less than expected (6% £1.8bln to £1.9bln). So, should we all start investing in our favourite football clubs? SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) CHARLES STANLEY, CHIEF ECONOMIST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "One has to be rather careful about dashing out there and buying shares in ones favourite club, football finance tends to be a manhole over which you stand and empty the contents of your wallet." TV revenues are providing much of the extra cash. With Sky and BT paying a record £5.1 billion pounds for the rights to the 2016-17 season. It gives the UK clubs a major advantage over their European rivals. But the salary cap may not be such a winner with fans. Europe's highest paid stars Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both play in Spain. And this season there are no English clubs left in any of the European tournaments.