Last updated : 05 August 2004 By editor

The Independent reports:

‘Leading finance experts are predicting the demise of the transfer fee for all but the biggest names. Deloitte and Touche's 14th annual report into the finances of football shows a 50 per cent decline in the cash clubs spent on new players.

‘Dan Jones, sports business group partner at Deloitte and Touche, said: "Clubs are starting to abandon what we have always thought to be the risky strategy of buying players in the belief that if things go wrong, they can always be sold. Long-term, that is an unsustainable position and one that needs to end."

‘However, the report goes on to point out that the Premiership generated £1.2bn during the 2002-03 season, making it by far the most lucrative league on the planet, accounting for almost 17 per cent of worldwide revenue.’

The Telegraph then prints the financial statistics for season 2002-03. Although now a year out of date these show some interesting facts. Arsenal were the forth highest club in the debt table with £60m hanging over them, City were not far behind in sixth position with a £50m debt.

United were second only to West Brom in the lowest percentage of wages to turnover with the amount standing at 45%. We were the top earners with £47m profit, nearly double our nearest contenders who were Newcastle with £27.7m.