Here’s How Much The English Premiership Clubs Are Losing Every Year

Surely this isn’t sustainable?

The financial power of clubs in the English Premiership seems to be becoming more and more evident in recent seasons. Or is it?

We’re seeing more and more huge southern hemisphere stars move to England as opposed to France and PRO14 players are finding it harder each year to turn down the money on offer in England, with stars like Liam Williams and Dan Biggar recently signing bumper contracts with Premiership clubs.

The thing is, the majority of these teams are losing vast amounts of money every season, as highlighted by an excellent piece by rugby journalist Gerry Thornley in The Irish Times.

In the financial year 2015-2016, nouveau riche Wasps lost £3.8million, despite their move to the Ricoh Arena, Harlequins lost £2.2million, Newcastle £2.1million (£2.3 the year before), London Irish £1.9million (£1.8million in the previous year), Bath £1.2million (having lost one million the year before, Sale Sharks £1.1million (also having lost a similar amount the year before), Gloucester and Leicester Tigers £0.4million each.
As for Worcester, there have been widespread reports that the owners, Sixways Holdings Ltd, are set to walk away after incurring losses of around £16m over the last three seasons. Only Exeter Chiefs (£0.9million) and Northampton Saints (£0.6million) announced a profit.
Then there’s Saracens. The back-to-back European Champions made a pre-tax loss of £3.3million last year and £4million the year previously, which was actually improvement on the previous five years in which they lost a £5.168million, £5.930million, £5.827million, £5.552million and £6.413 million respectively.
That’s a cumulative £36.3 million or so in the last seven years, or £45.177 million loss over the last ten years and a total of £63million in 20 years. Thanks to Sky pitchside interviewer Graham Simmons for highlighting these figures.

Those figures are hugely worrying, particularly with clubs like Saracens and Wasps. How long can they afford to maintain this? No wonder Premiership Rugby is constantly trying to tamper with pretty much every competition out there, including their own, in order to attract more revenue and sponsorship.

Thornley goes into this in greater detail in a excellent piece published today which you can read here.

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Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor at RugbyLAD. Any queries big or small you can reach him at [email protected]

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