Premier League clubs to gain hundreds of millions in revenue on untapped US market

credit: Shutterstock
credit: Shutterstock

Direct-to-Consumer fan specialists CLV Group has unearthed data that shows Premier League clubs are missing out on ‘hundreds of millions’ of pounds in annual revenue due to not capitalising on the burgeoning US soccer market. 

CLV Group estimates that there are up to 83 million US-based soccer fans, with 44% – or 36 million people – not knowing which team to support, particularly what European club to support. 

Moreover, due to US soccer continuously growing domestically and its interest in European leagues also rising in interest, this represents a “huge” opportunity for European clubs to take advantage of a potential annual revenue stream of $321m. 

This is outlined in further detail in the new CLV Group guidebook, which reveals many key demographic and fan interest differences between football fans in Europe and US soccer fans. 

Neil Joyce, CEO of CLV Group, said: ”European football clubs have historically lacked the necessity, data and technology to drive such transformative growth. 

“However, coupled with the rising popularity of football (soccer) in the US, the pure scale of soccer fans, 88 million across participants, followers and viewers, plus those with an affinity for the sport, now is the time to capitalise.”

Why the shift in the US’ attitude towards soccer is pertinent to the Premier League is due to talks resurfacing again regarding holding live games in the country. 

While talks of US games were shut down in 2008, termed ‘Game 39’, by the Football Supporter’s Association, recent comments by an exec at exclusive US Premier League NBC has fuelled renewed interest in potential overseas games. 

The arrival of David Beckham to LA Galaxy in 2007 saw US soccer’s first tangible commercial and visible growth, however, this was not sustainable and the MLS and soccer as a whole fell to the wayside once again to more popular sports such as American Football, Basketball and Baseball. 

However, Lionel Messi joining Inter Miami last summer, coupled with the NBC’s coverage of the Premier League – which last season hit record viewing numbers – and the 2026 FIFA World Cup to be predominantly held in the US, CLV Group believes now is the right time for Premier League clubs to capitalise on the gold mine of revenue that potentially awaits. 

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But the US sports market behaves considerably differently to that of its European counterparts. Sponsorship, marketing and digital direct-to-consumer products have inflated to new heights in the US market, and Joyce believes Premier League clubs could learn new revenue opportunities if they were to focus more on this new and emerging market.

He said: “Think LeBron James’ recent partnership with Liverpool FC – or how Taylor Swift’s appearance at the Super Bowl provided a massive financial boost to the NFL (not to mention the impact at Anfield over the weekend). Or even Juventus’ recent ‘Team Jay’ series to engage their younger fanbase through anime. These are the areas our clubs must now embrace.”

Whilst smaller Premier League clubs –  in terms of annual revenue – will benefit from growing their fan bases and visibility in the US, it is the larger teams that stand to benefit the most from doubling-down on US soil. 

CLV Group reveals that Manchester United stands to gain the most from the US market, with a potential $40.7m revenue opportunity, followed by Manchester City ($34.3m), Chelsea ($27.3m) and Arsenal ($22.3m). 

The group notes that these funds could be used to bolster transfer budgets, wages, club infrastructure, along with bringing tangible benefit back to domestic fans with season tickets, ticket price reductions or at worst case, price freezes. 

This is compounded further when it pertains to the Premier League’s Profit & Sustainability Rules (PSR) which, in their current incarnation, have been heavily criticised by a plethora of clubs. 

Despite the upcoming Premier League AGM looking to rehaul PSR, Joyce believes that it is key that Premier League clubs acknowledge and take advantage of its growing presence in the US to make more revenue to alleviate any financial concerns the new PSR rules may cause. 

He said: “With Profit and Sustainability Rules in place and talk of even more robust new financial rules in the pipeline, it’s absolutely key to unlock new revenues now. 

“We know clubs like Manchester United and Arsenal already go on regular summer tours to the US, but our unique data shows that there’s so much more opportunity there for them now.”

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If Premier League clubs are exploring the possibility of branching out into the US, they may need to act sooner rather than later. Other large European clubs such as Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and PSG all have considerable followings in the country. 

La Liga President Javier Tebas has also revealed that the league will host live league games in the 2025/26 season, which may lead to them growing the league’s brand and its club’s stature ahead of the Premier League and its clubs. 

“The US market is ready for Premier League clubs to win the hearts, minds, and wallets of undecided, unknown fans – whether it’s through selling merchandise directly to fans, or pursuing partnerships across other sports, collaborations with video gaming, music, and content creators. The opportunity is huge,” concluded Joyce. 

“We’re talking about a potential fan base of 36 million undecided US soccer fans (not to mention those fans who know the clubs, but the clubs do not know themselves) who can be connected to and engaged with, thus bringing huge sources of growth across the board to the clubs.

“If they don’t, then there’s no doubt that the tide of organic growth of Major League Soccer, not to mention other European heavyweights like Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG and Bayern Munich, will be there to seize the opportunities.”

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