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Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 12:57 UK

SPL announces 23m record profit

The 2007/08 season was the most profitable in the SPL's history

The Scottish Premier League has reported a record-breaking profit, generating £23m for the 2007/08 season, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Following a decade of losses, action taken by clubs has resulted in eight clubs reducing debt, with two reporting no debt, and all but one breaking even.

St Mirren are the SPL's most profitable club after the sale of their former Love Street ground for £9.2m.

Celtic have the highest wage bill at £39m, a 53% wage-to-turnover ratio.

Hearts are the only club in the SPL to report a loss, despite the sale of Craig Gordon to Sunderland for £9m in January 2007, while Inverness and Falkirk operated with no debt during the same accounting period.

Most profitable club: St Mirren with £11m
Highest wage bill: Celtic with £39m
Highest operating loss: Hearts with £3.5m
Biggest increase in net debt: Rangers up £5m

Rangers' operating figures were boosted by the sale of Alan Hutton to Tottenham Hotspur for £9m in January 2008, but the Ibrox outfit were the only club in the SPL to report an increase in net debt, up £5m on the previous season to £21.6m.

The SPL attracted slightly lower crowds during the 2007/08 season with average attendance figures down 3% from the prior season to 184,297.

Two thirds of the SPL teams experienced a decrease in attendance levels.

The increase in profit across the league was largely driven by the success of SPL clubs on the European stage, with Celtic reaching the last 16 of the Champions League and Rangers reaching the final of the Uefa Cup, where they lost to Zenit St Petersburg.

Much of the SPL's profits are derived from media rights to broadcast matches, with the television deal agreed with Setanta representing £13m per season - or close to £1m per club.

For the smaller clubs in the league, the Setanta income represents 20-30% of their operating income, however, the Irish broadcaster lost the rights to broadcast SPL matches after failing to meet a third deadline to pay £3m owed to the SPL by Monday.

The SPL chief executive Lex Gould insists that the league is actively seeking a new broadcasting partner in time for the 2009/10 season starting on 15 August.

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see also
Profits on the up for SPL clubs
27 Aug 08 |  Scottish Premier
Hibs reveal record 7.4m profit
11 Sep 07 |  Hibernian
Celtic continue to deliver profit
15 Aug 08 |  Celtic
Murray happy with Gers' fortunes
20 Feb 08 |  Rangers
SPL continues economic recovery
03 Oct 06 |  Scottish Premier
St Mirren delight at stadium sale
25 Apr 07 |  St Mirren

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