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How do the debts of Premier League teams stack up against their local areas, and are you better or worse off living near a stadium?

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Premier League debts: the low-down

With some teams sitting in substantial debt while others, seemingly, have none, we’ve lined up the figures for each Premier League team’s current debt status.

In the same way that someone who can afford to mortgage multiple houses will be in more debt than someone who can only afford to rent, Premier League teams are some of the richest in Europe – and so they tend to splash the cash more than teams in other leagues. However, it’s true to say that some are more careful with their borrowing than others.

Though Chelsea are sometimes shown as being in the £0 debt set, this often-repeated claim is reliant on overlooking the debt of more than £1billion that the team owes to owner Roman Abramovich. To keep the comparisons made here fair, we’ve chosen to include this debt.

Even including a rounded-down figure for their debt to Abramovich, Chelsea take the clear lead as the Premiership team most ‘in the red’, followed by Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion who make up the rest of the top three.

Down at the lower end of our debt league table are the three teams recently promoted into the Premier League – Norwich, Aston Villa and Sheffield United – with Burnley and Everton taking the prized zero-debt positions.

Savvy spending

Burnley have been described as a ‘model club’ by Financial Football News, praised for being patient in reaching their goals and not overstretching themselves financially. Chairman Mike Garlick puts this down to a commitment to developing talent, rather than making expensive signings like other big-league teams.

To give a feel for the amount of variety there can be between one team’s ‘expensive signing’ and another, consider a pair of record-breakers. When Norwich signed Steven Naismith in 2016, they broke a club record by spending £8.6 million on the deal. In the same year, Manchester United also broke their record for most expensive signing – taking on Paul Pogba at £89.3 million.

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**not in the Premier League at the time
£603
Average per capita consumer debt nationally in the UK
Average per capita consumer debt in the postcode region
Did you know?

How does your team’s postcode area compare to its neighbours when it comes to unsecured personal debt?

The table on the right shows how personal debts stack up for people living in Premier League stadium postcodes, when compared with their neighbours. For example, that people living around Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park Stadium have debts 89.3% higher than people living elsewhere in the SE zone.

Looking at the Premier League as a whole, it’s clear to see that living near a stadium doesn’t automatically make you better or worse off. The typical personal debt within Watford’s postcode area is 94% higher than in the rest of the WD region, while people living near St. James’ Park in Newcastle have 86% less debt than neighbours elsewhere in the NE zone. West Ham is the only team where we are unable to make a comparison, due to their location in the Olympic Park.

Of the seven areas where living near a stadium correlates with a higher level of personal debt, five are home to London teams. While elsewhere in the country you might be better off as a result of living near a Premier League stadium, this isn’t true for residents of the capital city.

Personal debt in club postcodes, compared to the local area average

    Watford

    +94.15%

    Crystal Palace

    +89.30%

    Tottenham Hotspur

    +49.39%

    Everton

    +43.99%

    Arsenal

    +25.16%

    Chelsea

    +13.23%

    Manchester United

    +10.38%

    Liverpool

    -24.23%

    Burnley

    - 26.58%

    Manchester City

    -26.74%

    Bournemouth

    -32.93%

    Norwich City 

    -38.65%

    Aston Villa

    -43.12%

    Leicester City

    -48.03%

    Brighton & Hove Albion

    -59.51%

    Wolverhamption Wanderers

    -63.77%

    Southampton

    -71.67%

    Sheffield United

    -74.73%

    Newcastle United

    -85.66%

    West Ham United

    N/A

    Did you know?

    's match day revenue is .

    Chelsea F.C.’s debt to Roman Abramovich means they owe more than the entire SW region combined – in fact, as the total value of unsecured personal loans in the SW area is £496,063,164 at the time of writing, Chelsea F.C.’s debt is currently more than double this.

    £37 billion

    Total consumer debt nationally in the UK

    £3,139,516

    Total consumer debt in the postcode region

    Did you know?

    Avoid an own goal

    While Premier League clubs continue to break records in almost every transfer window, many clubs at lower levels struggle to stay afloat. In the modern game, the finances of football are increasingly coming under as much scrutiny as the action on the pitch, no matter which team you support.

    Meanwhile, the cost of being a fan continues to increase. By learning financial lessons from teams like Burnley rather than enormous clubs that operate in perpetual debt, fans can improve their personal finances and make paying for next year’s season ticket a little bit easier.

    For more information on how to improve your personal finances, take a look at our football-inspired guide.

    How did we calculate these statistics?

    This page uses consumer debt figures from UK Finance, which includes data from high street banks and credit unions (but not payday lenders) for unsecured credit such as personal loans, overdrafts and credit cards.

    The data comes from several major lenders, and accounts for around 60 percent of the market. This means that the actual figures on UK consumer debt are likely to be much higher.

    We've used this information - as well as postcode data from The Resolution Foundation - to show you the situation in your region and near to your favourite Premier League club.

    We've combined this with published data from Financial Football News, Swiss Ramble, Global Sports Salaries and Price of Football to show and compare the Premier League debt accrued by football teams, alongside their local areas.

    The data is based on information that is publicly available on each website at the time of writing this article. Know Your Money is not able to accept, for any reason, responsibility for the content on 3rd party sites.

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