EY Report

'League's role important at local and global levels'

17 Jan 2022
Man Utd food banks

EY's Peter Arnold explains how the impact of Premier League football is felt across the UK and worldwide

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EY UK Chief Economist Peter Arnold introduces the latest study on the economic and social impact of the Premier League:

"This is the third time EY has undertaken this analysis, with this iteration focusing on a particularly challenging period as it covers a season partially disrupted by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic impacted the economic contribution that the League was able to make, as the season was forced to pause for more than three months, before finally ending in empty stadiums.

However, despite this disruption, our analysis still evidences the significant growth in the League's impact since EY's first impact assessment of the League and its clubs in 2013/14.

Social contribution

The report also draws out some of the equally important social contributions that the Premier League, and indeed football as a sport, makes to the UK.

For many, the return of live football in June 2020, provided welcome moments of excitement and togetherness after a very difficult few months.

So, what were the headlines?

The League contributed £7.6billion to UK GDP over the course of the 2019/20 season and supported 94,000 jobs, despite the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic.

This economic activity raised substantial sums for the Exchequer, with £3.6bn generated in UK tax payments.

The impact of the League across the country is striking, with each of England's nine administrative regions represented by at least one club in 2019/20.

This widespread geographic footprint channels the vast majority (72 per cent) of the League's economic impact to areas outside of London.

Global appeal

The League's global appeal continues to be a key factor in driving its economic impact.

Broadcast exports reached £1.4bn in 2019/20, engaging a cumulative global audience of 3.2bn and rivalling the combined exports of the UK's major media broadcasters.

The Premier League is an important asset for "Global Britain".

TOT Son fans v2
Hundreds of thousands of international visitors travel to the UK each year to watch Premier League clubs

Closer to home, and in "normal" times, this appeal also drives the visitor economy, as hundreds of thousands of international visitors travel to the UK each year to watch Premier League clubs.

In 2019/20, 528,000 people visited the UK to watch a match, spending around £442million on UK goods and services.

Heart of local communities

Beyond its economic contribution, the League still plays a significant role at the heart of clubs' local communities.

Hundreds of thousands of children, young people and adults benefit from initiatives supported by the League each year.

In 2019/20, Premier League clubs – as with many other organisations and institutions – redirected their efforts to support the changing needs of their fans and communities, including providing millions of meals and thousands of supportive calls to the most vulnerable.

The pandemic has helped pull the role of football within communities across the country into sharper focus than ever before, and as our report shows, it is important to recognise this social contribution alongside the economic impact of the Premier League and its clubs."

Also in this series

Part 1: Download the EY Report (PDF; Size: 7.8MB)
Part 2: Economic benefits of Premier League confirmed by report
Part 4: Sunak: League's contribution to economy is fantastic
Part 5: Investing in communities and the wider game
Part 6: League investment supporting football pyramid
Part 7: Providing a helping hand during the pandemic
Part 8: Premier League success being felt across the UK
Part 9: Burnham: League has massive benefits for North West
Part 10: How West Ham contribute to local economy
Part 11: 'Significant investment' boosting homegrown stars
Part 12: Producing the next generation of coaching talent
Part 13: League's global support boosting UK appeal
Part 14: Egypt symbolises growth of Premier League

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