Leicester City’s 5,000-1 miracle Barclays Premier League title win made them globally famous but Arsenal are on top of the 2015-16 prize money table.
Official figures released on Tuesday show the Gunners have pocketed almost £101million – or £100,952,257 to be precise – from the Premier League’s central funds.
Manchester City were the second-highest earners, making £96,971,603, followed by Manchester United (£96.5m) and Tottenham (£95.2m), with Leicester in fifth place on £93.2m. The lowest earning club, Aston Villa, earned £66.6m, the biggest sum ever for a bottom-placed club.
The money comes primarily from the Premier League’s huge TV deals but also includes a share of the league’s central commercial income for each club.
Our accompanying table breaks down the component parts for each club.
Arsenal’s money was made up of £23,605,000 ‘merit’ cash for finishing second in the table, £21,496,762 in ‘facility fees’ for being in so many live TV games, plus equal shares of the domestic TV deal, overseas TV deals and commercial income from the league’s sponsors, such as Barclays.
Every club then receives £1,242,405 per finishing place in the table, from that sum for bottom-placed Aston Villa to £24,848,100 to winners Leicester.
Each club also gets a variable amount depending on how many times they were shown live on Sky or BT. Every club got a minimum of £8,782,088 from this pot, even if they were shown as rarely as Watford and Bournemouth (just eight live televised games each), or Norwich City and Stoke City (nine times each).
Arsenal were shown live in the UK most, 27 times, followed by Manchester United (26) then Manchester City (25), Liverpool (23) and Chelsea (22).
For 2015-16 every club gets an ‘equal’ share of £55,849,800 derived from domestic TV income, overseas income and commercial income combined, with specifics in our graphic.
Clubs have three main revenue streams: match day income (from tickets, corporate dining etc), media income (of which the payments announced on Tuesday are the largest but not the only part) and commercial income (from kit deals, sponsorship, merchandise, tours and so on).
Sky and BT Sport paid £3.018billion between them to show Premier League matches live in the UK across three seasons from 2013 to 2016 inclusive. Foreign broadcasters around the world paid another £2.23bn combined, on top, for the same period.
The prize cash will get bigger in future. The domestic deals will rise from £3.018bn to £5.136bn in the three-year period from 2016-17, and the foreign deals will climb from £2.23bn to £3bn-plus.
The ratio in Premier League earnings between highest earners Arsenal at the top and Villa at the bottom in 2015-16 is 1.52 to one. This is the lowest ratio in the history of the Premier League since 1992-93 and a much lower ratio – and therefore ‘fairer’ split of TV money – than occurs in Europe’s other major leagues.
In the Premier League’s first season, 1992-93, the total prize pot including parachute payments was £37.5m. Manchester United were top earners back then, making £2,413,660. Middlesbrough, the lowest earners, made £1,063,135.
This season, £1.81bn has been given in prize money (£1.64bn) and parachute payments (£172m) combined.
Next year with the new TV deals kicking in, the club finishing bottom of the Premier League will make about the same as this season’s highest earners Arsenal.