With a stadium that cost £1 billion and a squad full of top Premier League talent, it would be easy to see why many football fans might question if Tottenham Hotspur may be at risk of breaching the Financial Fair Play rules.
Chairman Daniel Levy has been criticised by fans and pundits throughout the years, with his business-focused model for running the club failing to yield positive results on the pitch. Tottenham have won just two League Cups since the founding of the Premier League, further highlighting supporters’ desperation for success and more activity in the transfer window.
Spurs head into the 2023-24 campaign having failed to qualify for European football and are now at risk of losing some of their top talents such as forwards Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. The absence of European football equals the absence of additional broadcasting revenue, and with the North London club’s players potentially leaving, they will need to start looking for new possible signings.
But how much will Tottenham be able to spend in the 2023-24 season? And how do they avoid breaking Financial Fair Play regulations?
Tottenham FFP Report
With a generated revenue of £523 million before tax and operating expenses of £403 million, Tottenham is one of the best-run businesses in the English football pyramid and is able to fit within the regulated lines of Financial Fair Play.
The UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations are a set of rules created by UEFA in 2009 to prevent European football clubs from overspending beyond their generated revenue to avoid financial calamity and unsolvable debt.
Although Spurs have spent over £780 million on transfers since 2016, the club has been able to recoup £390 million from player sales as well as increase generated revenue, leaving the club as a well-sustained and now profitable football club in the eyes of Financial Fair Play.
Are Tottenham in Trouble with FFP?
Due to Tottenham’s business model approach to Premier League football, the North London club are one of the most unlikely teams in the league at breaching the Financial Fair Play regulations in the near future.
Although Tottenham’s operating expenses rose to £403 million in 2022, the North London club still generates enough revenue to see a profit, making them a sustainably run business and therefore avoiding any breach of the Financial Fair Play regulations.
As Financial Fair play was created in order to ensure that football clubs are run in a sustainable way, Tottenham is in a solid position to avoid any upcoming FFP investigations in the near future due to its well-run business method and low transfer spending.
How Much Can Tottenham Spend in 2023/24?
Although Tottenham is often regarded as a low-spending team in the traditional Premier League ‘Big Six’, the club’s acute financial management and high generated revenue could see them equipped with a £400 million spendable war chest for the 2023-24 season.
As the North London club can fit inside the Financial Fair Play regulations with a sustainable operations model and impressively high revenue, Spurs could potentially have one of the biggest transfer window spendings in the club’s history next EPL campaign.
The potential sales of current players will also be a potential factor in Tottenham’s spending for the 2023-24 season, with several first-team players being linked with moves away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. England captain Harry Kane is a player who is linked with a transfer away from Tottenham, a move that could see the star forward sold for anywhere between £70-£100 million depending on the purchasing club.
Through increased revenue streams, rising matchday revenue, and an impressive pre-tax profit compared to the Premier League’s big hitters, Tottenham’s business model method for running the club has seen them financially stable and now profiting.
Sponsorship and merchandising revenue rose to £183 million in 2022, playing a significant part in the club’s overall 23% rise to £523 million generated revenue before tax.
Tottenham’s new stadium the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has also played a key role in the club’s impressive revenue streams, generating £106 million in matchday revenue for the first full season of use.
In terms of profiting, Spurs have a pre-tax profit of £401 million between 2010 and 2020, more than Arsenal, Liverpool, and Man Utd. Chelsea and Manchester City also generate high revenue streams, however, their large losses compared to Tottenham’s low operations costs see Spurs as the most well-run club in the traditional ‘Big Six’ in terms of profit.
Having finished in 8th place in the 2022-23 Premier League season, Tottenham will miss out on any European football for the upcoming season. This will have a negative impact on their financial situation as they will no longer receive any UEFA broadcasting revenue which can range between £10 million to £70 million depending on where the club would finish in the competitions.
Tottenham’s Profit and Loss
With a net profit margin of £121 million since 2016, Tottenham’s business model operation has seen them in one of the strongest profiting positions in the entire Premier League.
Thanks to an increasing generated revenue, the club is estimated to profit a further £50 million for the 2022-23 season while rumours of potential player sales could see that figure rise above £100 million. Tottenham has profited in four of the last six Premier League campaigns, further highlighting the successful business model that chairman Daniel Levy has implemented at the club.
Tottenham Transfer Net Spend Year-by-Year
Often viewed as a business-run model rather than a trophy-winning model, it is little surprise to see that Tottenham’s net transfer spend since 2010 is less than half of the other ‘Big Six’ clubs while keeping its wages low as a percentage of income that the club generates.
Tottenham has spent over £80 million on incoming transfers in each transfer window since 2016, spending a combined £780 million while receiving £309 million for players sold in the same time frame.
Interstingly, Spurs have been able to recoup money through sales but it is still less than half of their total transfer expenses. The most recent example of this transfer trouble is the recent departure of Lucas Moura who was allowed to leave the club for no fee as his contract expired in June 2023. Tottenham bought the Brazilian winger for £30 million, leaving them with zero income from the player’s departure when the club could’ve potentially sold him for a smaller fee earlier in the season.
What is the Financial Situation with Tottenham?
Despite their lack of trophy success on the pitch, Tottenham are currently in a remarkable financial position compared to the majority of their Premier League opponents.
With a generated revenue of £523 million before tax, the club does not currently run the risk of financial struggles or any dire need to sell its best assets. However, their low transfer spending and consistent lack of trophy-challenging campaigns often overshadow the club’s impressive financial record for the average football fan.
With an estimated £1 billion stadium now fully running and generating £106 million per year, the club will see their investment repaid in roughly 10 years if the club’s revenue streams continue to run as they currently do, combine this with the estimated £215 million from commercial revenue and the £183 million from broadcast revenue and Tottenham are looking like the ideal template for a business-model football club.