Inside the world of great football.

English clubs owe half of Europe’s football debt

The total debt of 18 English Premier League clubs equals 56 per cent of the money owed by all 732 clubs licensed by UEFA, according to an official report released by European football’s governing body.

The European Club Footballing Landscape analysis of 2007/08 financial records showed debts of Premier League clubs are just under €4 billion (£3.5 billion). The figure is four times the amount owed by clubs in Spanish La Liga, the second most indebted league.

The 18 Premier League teams however averaged €122 million each for commercial income, €43 million more than the average in the German Bundesliga, the next wealthiest league.

In the report’s foreword, UEFA president Michel Platini says the figures demonstrate “increasingly clear warning signs” and makes the case for the implementation of the Financial Fair Play rules, which will require clubs to break even over a certain number of years from mid-2012.

Portsmouth and West Ham were not granted UEFA licences that year due to their financial difficulties and were not included in the report.

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