Premier League revenues hit record high $6.4 billion

Fanatics CEO: NFL jersey sales strong during protests
Fanatics CEO: NFL jersey sales strong during protests

The English Premier League just scored a major win.

The soccer league reported record revenue of nearly $6.4 billion during the 2016-2017 season, according to a report from Deloitte's Sports Business Group.

That's a 25% increase from the previous year.

Much of the gain comes from the league's broadcast deals, which came into effect during the 2016-2017 season, according to Dan Jones, the head of Deloitte's Sports Business Group.

The Premier League made over $1.4 billion in profit, according to the report.

The league also put up a record 9% wage increase. Jones said it's typical for teams to spend more during the year before a new television deal starts, and while the 9% growth in pay may be a record, teams showed great restraint in their spending.

The ratio of revenue to wages is 55% -- the lowest it's been in about 20 years.

But teams have been spending.

A record $2.6 billion has been spent on player transfers during the 2017-2018 season, said Tim Bridge, a senior consultant at Deloitte.

Agents may want to see more of that extra revenue head toward the players, but teams will likely hang on to their cash for a bit.

"We may again see similar levels of spending in the coming season, with the FIFA World Cup providing the perfect shop window for talent, but expenditure remains well within the means of clubs," Bridge said.

European soccer relies on a system of promotion and relegation where good teams are promoted into higher leagues and losing teams are relegated to lower divisions. The Premier League is the highest level of play within English soccer. It's also the most lucrative.

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The report solidifies EPL as the richest soccer league in the world.

It far surpasses the other leagues in the "Big 5," which includes Germany's Bundesliga, Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A and France's Ligue 1.

But it's still not as rich as US sports leagues.

Major League Baseball reported more than $10 billion in revenue last year. The NFL, which is the richest sports league in the world, reported over $12.5 billion in revenue. The NFL doesn't release financial data, but the total can be estimated using info released by the Green Bay Packers, the only publicly owned team in the league.

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