Premier League Players' Wages 'Top £2.2bn'
Premier League clubs scored record revenues of £3.2bn last season as wages topped £2.2bn, according to the latest analysis of football finances.
The estimates for 2013/14, released by Deloitte, suggested that Premier League stars raked in more, in terms of earnings, than the clubs in the German Bundesliga in the previous 2012/13 season.
The auditor issued its numbers alongside its Annual Review of Football Finance, which covered 2012/13, predicting no end in sight to the growing riches of England's top flight.
The review revealed a 21% rise in commercial revenue in the Premier League, hitting £2.5bn for the first time, with 13 clubs making a profit compared to 10 in 2011/12.
It found that more than 75% of the revenue increase was spent on wages - the bill for the league as a whole reaching £1.8bn, a rise of 8% or £125m on the previous year.
It meant, Deloitte said, that Premier League clubs' wages-to-revenue ratio reached a new high of 71%.
However, the review forecast that the ratio would fall below 70% for the first time since 2009/10 under its estimates for 2013/14.
Adam Bull, senior consultant in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: "The pattern in spending on wages following previous increases in broadcast deals, suggests it's likely around 60% or more of the revenue increase in 2013/14 will flow through to wages."
The review said the 2012/13 season was a particularly bleak year for the finances of Championship clubs.
A revenue reduction of £39m was compounded by a £40m increase in wage costs, leading to record operating losses of £241m.
Pre-tax losses also increased by £170m, equivalent to an additional £7m per club, to £323m.
Mr Bull added: "The 2012/13 wages to revenue ratio for Championship clubs of 106% is the highest ever recorded by an English division and is clearly unsustainable without ongoing owner support.
"The introduction of the Championship Financial Fair Play Rules was widely seen, and advocated by the clubs who voted it in, as a necessary step to change clubs' behaviour.
"The severity of the punishments applied to those who have not complied with the rules in the 2013/14 season and the eventual result of efforts to change the rules, will determine the extent to which they present an effective deterrent to widespread overspending."