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How is Premier League Money Distributed And What Does This Mean For The Title Race?

Premier League champions, Manchester City

The Premier League big six teams in recent years have got their hands on larger cash sums after making steeper and more convincing progressions in the domestic league and European competitions – Champions League and Europa League – alongside FA and League Cups.

As in many leagues, the so-called big six have profited from this rise, especially through staggering transfers and completing the signings of world-class players.

From Manchester City, the league holders, to Liverpool, European Champions for a sixth time in their history, the money just keeps rolling in from one tournament to the next (which you can punt on in our Premier League betting markets).

So, we’ve taken a look at the Premier League prize money the top six marauders raked in in last year’s campaigns, and what kind of figures we might see them claim in the upcoming season.

But first things first…

Factors Affecting Premier League Distributions

As with any financial return, there are many factors that affect the distribution of cash between the top six Premier League teams, especially given the nature of these so-called giants of the game.

Each club is ranked by the total payment they receive – a number that is made up of merit money, facility fees, domestic TV revenue, and central commercialization.

However, they also receive around 79 million courtesy of the Football Association.

Some of the concepts involved can be a bit tricky to get by, but we’ve broken down all the complicated lingo to give you the perfect insight…

Merit Money

Merit money is normally quite simple as it’s based solely on each club’s finishing position in the league.

The team languishing right at the bottom of the domestic standings receives a certain amount of merit money, as Huddersfield Town did in a sum of £1,931,268.

However, every other club gains an extra £1,931,268 for every position higher they finish.

For example, the second-bottom side, Fulham, received £3,862,536 (2 x £1,931,268), third bottom Swansea received £5,793,804 (3 x £1,931,268) and so on.

Facility Fees

Unlike merit money, facility fees work in a slightly different way in the form of Premier League parachute payments as it’s based on how many of each club’s games were selected to be aired on live TV, which of course are subject to change.

To ensure fairness and objectivity. every side gets a guaranteed cash sum of £12,312,666, even if fewer than ten of their games were chosen to be aired.

The rest, meanwhile, get an extra £1,129,879 for each game over ten, which means that teams such as Liverpool and Manchester City who had just about every single one of their Premier League games televised, can end up claiming a substantial amount of money,

Domestic TV, Overseas TV, and Central Commercialization

Alongside merit money, the amounts concerning TV rights and commercialization are equal for each club.

Indeed, all 20 sides receive £34,812,558 for domestic TV income, £40,771,108 for overseas TV income and £4,838,892 for central commercialisation (such as sponsors).

However, these funds are then further separated into two different categories: Overseas TV deal money and domestic TV deal money.

The former is spread out evenly across all 20 Premier League clubs, however, the latter is split with 50% going to clubs, 25% being merit-based and distributed on league standings, and 25% given out as facility fees.

Pretty simple, right?

What the Big Six Earn In A Single Across All Competitions

Everything we’ve just discussed culminates into the single earnings that the so-called big six make across their season, whether that’s in the Europa League, Champions League or the FA Cup.

So, with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at exactly what they earn, how this will affect their Premier League transfers, and where they’ll finish next season based on the Premier League prize money revenues they raked in last year.

Without further ado…

Manchester City

The Premier League champions surprisingly made less than their title-challengers Liverpool, despite clinching the treble.

With 26 of their games televised – three less than the Reds – they clinched 30 million from TV income and a further 38 from prize money to go along with the 79.4 million merit revenue, giving them an overall sum of 147.5 million.

This was on top of the FA Cup final winning fee that got them 3.6 million, and the League Cup prize money, which was a measly 100,000.

Given that UEFA does not hand out any cash sums in Champions League play-off games as clubs involved will benefit from centralized phase distribution, the Citizens did not make a substantial sum as they were knocked out by Tottenham in the quarterfinals.

147 million is still a hefty number, and with that coming from their Saudi Arabian owners, we’re expecting them to hit the same heights next season, perhaps making a little extra money along the way.


The Merseysiders, meanwhile, raked in 149 million last year in Premier League prize money, with more of their games televised, and thanks to that historic Champions League final win, despite playing second fiddle to Pep Guardiola’s men.

Klopp’s men bagged just under 17 million for lifting the European trophy, adding to the total they already amassed over the course of the competition.

With TV income bringing 33.5 million alongside that share of 79 million,  and the FA Cup proceedings (15,000), the cash sum that they came away with last season should be ample enough to see them delve deep into the Champions League again, and potentially clinch their first domestic title since 1990.


Over at Stamford Bridge, despite being nowhere near the title-race or European permutations, in his last year as the Chelsea manager, Maurizio Sarri managed to earn the Blues a total of 142.6 million – not that far off from City’s sum in the Premier League money table.

Alongside the usual TV income and merit money, it was their Europa League final victory that really got the ball rolling for Sarri and co, earning 4 million in the final on top of what they’d earnt for qualifying and making it through to Baku.

The Carabao Cup runners-up prize money, in comparison, was a meager earning of just 50,000 pounds.

However, with an equal share of 79 million to boost their revenue alongside the sales they made from Eden Hazard’s move to Real Madrid, Roman Abramovic certainly has the funds to spend big in the transfer window and create a squad tailored for further silverware next season.


Just behind them in the financial standings are Tottenham Hotspur, who had a pretty successful season last year that allowed them to claim 141.8 million of Premier League prize money, despite the loss to Liverpool in the Champions League final.

The money that they earnt across the path to the Wanda Metropolitano earned them around an extra 10 million and with the TV income surrounding a game only trumped by the England women’s game against the USA women as the most-watched, an extra 30 million was bagged by Daniel Levy.

Spurs also had just as many televised games as the Citizens, and with the equal share money of 79 million (and 25,000 from the FA Cup), they’ll go into next season with the aim of emulating their successes in the 2018/19 campaign.


Their North London rivals are quite a bit behind, with only 138.8 million to their name in the way of Premier League earnings, in what has been a shambolic start to Unai Emery’s tenure as Arsenal manager.

Losing out on the Europa League – which was their only route to Champions League football – and the fourth spot was one that damaged their TV income, with only 25 of their games being aired in a season chock-full of matches.

What’s more, with Stan Kroenke’s questionable transfer policies, a tight budget is what they are operating within this transfer window, with William Saliba, a 20 million youngster, their only signing so far.

So, with limited revenue, but plenty of merit money and equal share to make the most of, we aren’t expecting the Gunners to improve on last season’s standings.

Manchester United

The Red Devil’s problems extend from the pitch to behind closed doors, given that for a club of their stature, they amassed the smallest cash total in last year’s proceedings within the big six contingents.

139 million was the final Premier League prize money number marked down, which in itself, is no mean feat.

However a failed Champions League campaign, Carabao Cup disappointment, and stuttering in the FA Cup, they relied mostly on merit money, equal share, and TV income to get the Glazers amongst some cash.

Considering that they have already snapped up Aaron Wan-Bissaka for 50 million, and could get their hands on Bruno Fernandes, the money is clearly readily available for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to spend.

Yet, the kind of performances they have been displaying, and the lack of trophies mean that next year could be just as bleak for the Old Trafford faithful as the last.

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