Premiership Rugby is in a terrible position financially. Debt seems to be striking down Premiership teams quite quickly. So let’s take a look at just how bad the debt levels of each Premiership club are.
How much debt do Premiership clubs have? It is believed that the combined debt of all of the Premiership clubs is between £300-500 million, although it is difficult to accurately calculate.
Premiership Rugby clubs are in a lot of debt at the moment. They have taken a huge amount of loans over the last few years. When the Covid-19 pandemic caused games to be played behind closed doors, Premiership Rugby had to take a lot of loans to survive. The government gave Premiership Rugby a huge amount of money to support it through the darkest of times.
The most recent financial statements from each of the Premiership clubs mainly covered the 2021/22 season. At that time, the debt of all of the Premiership clubs combined was around £500 million. That figure has changed slightly, but not because the debt has been paid off.
With London Irish, Worcester Warriors and Wasps RFC going into administration, there are now only 10 teams in the Premiership. Those three teams removed around £200 million of the debt from Premiership Rugby. But it means that the league is still in a lot of financial trouble.
The debt tends to be around £300 million if you combine all of the remaining debt from the 10 teams still competing in the Premiership. This is still a huge amount of money the league owes to various different organisations. The exact figure changes frequently due to the interest payments that the different teams will have to make.
Are Gloucester Rugby in financial trouble?
Quite a few Premiership fans are concerned about the future of their team after seeing London Irish, Worcester Warriors and Wasps go into administration over the previous 12 months. Gloucester Rugby fans may be concerned about their club’s financial future.
Gloucester Rugby are not in immediate financial trouble. They appear to be one of the Premiership Rugby clubs in a slightly better financial state. They do still currently have debts of around £22 million, but this is below the average for the Premiership at the moment.
Gloucester were incredibly close to making a profit in their most recent accounts, but still showed a loss of around £600,000. This was mainly down to Gloucester playing two fewer home games in their accounts than they planned due to Worcester and Wasps going into administration.
But the main reason why Gloucester are not in a huge amount of financial trouble is because they have excellent revenues. Gloucester have one of the best fan bases in English Rugby. Kingsholm is often packed out and this brings a lot of money into the club. Gloucester also has owners who are happy to put money into the club.
They may not be in a great position financially at the moment, but Gloucester Rugby are certainly not in financial trouble. If there are more clubs to go the way of the others that have gone into administration, it seems unlikely that Gloucester Rugby will be one of the teams to struggle financially.
How much debt are Exeter Chiefs in?
Exeter Chiefs are one of the other Premiership Rugby teams in quite a bit of financial trouble. They have one of the highest debt figures in the entirety of English Rugby.
Exeter Chiefs are in debt of around £27 million in their most recent financial accounts. This is one of the highest figures in Premiership Rugby which is why there is concern Exeter Chiefs could get into more financial trouble, similar to the trouble that has faced Worcester Warriors, Wasps RFC and London Irish.
Their debt has come from losing a lot of revenue from the Covid-19 pandemic. Exeter were negatively affected in two ways because their group also includes the hotel which is located just next to the stadium. The hotel lost a huge amount of revenue along with the rugby team during the pandemic.
This caused Exeter to have to take on huge loans to stay alive and their spending has often outweighed the money coming into the club. This is why Exeter Chiefs are in so much debt.
Richest Premiership Rugby clubs
There are a few different teams in Premiership Rugby who you would consider to be rich. This can be because they have a passionate fan base or they have owners who are happy to invest a huge amount of money into the club.
Saracens, Bristol Bears and Leicester Tigers are likely to be the three richest Premiership Rugby clubs. You would find very few Premiership Rugby fans who would say that Saracen’s are not the richest team in the league. That is mainly due to a huge amount of investment from their owner.
Saracens have consistently been able to be one of the biggest spenders in the English Premiership despite not having one of the biggest fan bases or commercial sales. They are rich due to the owner of the club who invests a huge amount of money into keeping players like Maro Itoje, Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola at the club.
Saracens have shown their riches by now having a stadium they don’t share with anyone else. They have also in the past been able to sign international stars like Liam Williams, Schalk Burger and Will Skelton.
Leicester Tigers do also have owners who put a lot of money into the team. But they are also one of the richest Premiership Rugby team’s because they often maintain the highest attendance in the Premiership which brings in a lot of money. They have shown their riches through signing international superstars like Handre Pollard, Jasper Wiese and Julian Montoya.
Bristol Bears are also one of the richest teams in the Premiership. That is because of their owner, who is one of the richest people in the UK. The Bears have spent massively on superstars recently, bringing in players like Ellis Genge, Semi Radradra and Charles Piutau.