Managing Your Cash Flow

Final day twist sees Premier League newcomers finish bottom of late payments league table 

3 min read

11 May 2018

Deputy Editor, Business Advice

The latest Prompt Payment Premier League, compiled by Creditsafe, used the average time clubs took to pay suppliers throughout the season to demonstrate which clubs are failing the small businesses in their supply chains.

After taking a draw at defending champions Chelsea this week, Huddersfield Town FC secured their status in the Premier League. However, new data has ranked the Yorkshire club bottom of the notorious late payments league table.

The latest Prompt Payment Premier League, compiled by Creditsafe, used the average time clubs took to pay suppliers throughout the season to demonstrate which clubs are failing the small businesses in their supply chains.

With the worst record payment record of any Premier League club, Huddersfield Town took an average of 53 days beyond agreed terms to pay supplier invoices in the 2017/18 season.

The overall league table suggested a culture of late payments has persisted in football’s top flight.

Last season, it was revealed that Premier League clubs were withholding a total of £1.3m in overdue invoices to suppliers.

This season, not a single club paid its suppliers within agreed terms, with the average time to pay suppliers across all clubs standing at 12 days late. 

Last year’s worst offenders still playing in the Premier League, Manchester United, failed to strike much of an improvement, rising from 19th to 17th.

Liverpool were the only top six club with a better payment record than the league’s average, taken seven days longer than agreed terms to pay suppliers. 

Meanwhile, the league’s runaway champions Manchester City fared less well in its supply chain practices, ranking 16th with suppliers paid 12 days late.

Commenting on the table, Creditsafe UK CEO, Chris Robertson, UK CEO said: “It’s still surprising to see that even in the Premier League, where the clubs have never been wealthier, late payments are becoming a growing problem for businesses of all sizes to deal with.”

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Football

Infographic: Big spending owners of Premier League clubs
Stakeholders from Premier League clubs have ensured their teams are making more profit than ever before – even if it means using money from their own pocket.

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While Huddersfield rated poorly in supplier payments, it was a different story for fellow promoted club Brighton and Hove Albion. Taking only two days beyond agreed terms to pay its suppliers, the south coast club finished top of the table

“It’s also striking to see the gap between two of the newest clubs to enter the Premier League, each having totally different attitudes to paying suppliers promptly,” Robertson added.

“It’s clear that being a new club in the league, such as in Huddersfield’s case, is no excuse for paying businesses significantly later than their agreed terms with suppliers, especially when Brighton were able to pay their invoices much more promptly. 

“The money Premier League clubs receive through the new television rights deal will total more than £5bn over the next few years, so we can only hope the clubs become better in paying their invoices on time with this additional revenue.”