The Premier League is arguably the most well-known football league in the world, and since its inception in 1992/93, it has had a major impact on individuals, society and the economy.
The Premier League since Covid-19
Despite the coronavirus pandemic being a largely negative occurrence, an EY report on the economic and social impact of the Premier League found that it has had a largely positive affect on people during this time.
Released in January 2022, the study shows that Premier League football contributed £7.6bn to the UK economy during the 2019/20 season, despite the league being suspended for over three months due to the ongoing pandemic.
The Premier League’s tax contribution that year was £3.6bn, of which £1.4bn came from the players themselves.
During the 2019/20 campaign, the Premier League supported approximately 94,000 jobs, despite losing an estimated £1.3bn in broadcast and matchday revenue across that and the following season.
Premier League funding also helped support the NHS, communities and vulnerable groups, with £35m being committed to “on-the ground delivery” and facilities being made available for the country’s vaccination programme.
Additionally, between March 2020 and March 2021, Premier League funding supplied more than 1.5m meals to various communities, along with over 100,000 supportive phone calls being made to vulnerable fans.
All nine major regions in England were represented by at least one Premier League club in 2019/20, meaning that benefits from the league’s contributions were spread countrywide.
The aforementioned EY report also noted that the Premier League is vitally important for grassroots football, helping to provide new pitches and facilities across the UK.
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters says that the league’s “success and popularity enables us to continue investing in the competition and provide unparalleled support to the whole game and communities, ensuring the positive impact of the Premier League is felt far beyond what we see on the pitch”.
Through the Football Foundation – a charity run by the Premier League, the FA and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – the Premier League has contributed £384m to public football facilities since 2000.
Alongside additional contributions from the FA and the government, Premier League funding has led to the creation of 996 artificial turf pitches, 9,459 grass pitches and 1,252 changing pavilions.
The Premier League is the sole funder of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), which helps to improve stadiums from the EFL to the lower levels of the National League System, working with both men and women’s pyramid clubs. Since 2000, the FSIF has allocated over 5,100 grants to more than 3,000 clubs in 109 leagues in the UK.
Why is Premier League funding important?
Grassroots football encourages people to live a healthy and active lifestyle, while also providing young people with the opportunity to make new friends from a range of backgrounds, promoting diversity and lowering the likelihood of discrimination, racism and sexism within society. Funding for grassroots sports also helps new players to improve their skills, developing local talent and individual confidence.
The Premier League does an exceptional job at providing funding for English football in general at a grassroots level, but also for people, players and clubs involved across the EFL and National League.