London, June 3 (ANI): England's 20 Premier League clubs owe 3.1 billion pounds in bank overdrafts, loans and other borrowings, according to the latest published financial information.
The accounts for the clubs, mostly documenting the year to May, June or July 2008, show that the FA chairman, Lord Triesman, significantly underestimated football's indebtedness when he cautioned last October that debts in the sport as a whole, reports The Guardian.
Manchester United and Chelsea owed 699 million pounds and 701 million pounds respectively. Arsenal was third, with 416 million pounds and Liverpool owing around 280 million pounds.
The debts of those top four clubs, incurred in very different ways, demonstrate the extremes to which Premier League clubs' finances have been taken.
The 20 clubs' accounts show that despite booming incomes, which include the first season of a record 2.7 billion pounds TV deal which runs from 2007-10, Premier League clubs increasingly rely on subsidies from the billionaires who now mostly own the clubs.
The smaller Premier League clubs are struggling to compete financially, and as they are desperate to avoid relegation out of football's golden circle, they have been urgently seeking backers of their own.
The Premier League defends the financial picture presented, arguing that the levels of debt are generally manageable, given rising turnovers and the improved TV deal. (ANI)