Finance

Premier League clubs set for huge stadium tax rises

English football clubs are set for huge tax rises from next year due to a change in rateable values used to calculate business rates bills for their stadiums.

The average value for Premier League stadiums has shot up by 50%, according to data collated by real estate adviser Altus Group. The change comes after a reassessment of all 2.1m million non-domestic properties in England and Wales to reflect changes in the property market between April 2015 and April 2021.

The rise in value of the 20 top-flight arenas is way above the average 7.3% increase for all non-domestic properties in England. New rateable values will be used to determine the basis of business rates bills from April 2023 for the next three financial years. 

Analysis of official Government data by Altus Group shows that the 20 Premier League clubs had a combined rateable value of £50.8m for their stadiums based on the last property assessment in 2017, which has formed the basis of rates bills for the last six years, but this has been increased by 49% to £75.7m.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has the highest valuation for business rates of any football ground in the country at £10.3m followed by Manchester United’s Old Trafford at £8.7m.

The huge rises come despite the Government promising in March 2021 that market-wide economic changes to property values, such as those from COVID-19 – when football stadiums were closed to fans for more than a year – would be properly considered at the next general rates revaluation.

Robert Hayton, UK president at Altus Group, said: “Valuations of football stadium are complex and take into account not only the size or capacity of the stadium but their quality as well as attendances and income.

“The valuers of the draft lists have clearly downplayed the impact of the pandemic on values given restrictions were still in force on the assessment date with games still being played behind closed doors.”

The biggest loser, under the 2023 revaluation, is Leeds United, whose Elland Road stadium has seen its value skyrocket 315% whilst Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brighton & Hove Albion have both seen rises of over 250% on the values of their stadiums.

Aston Villa club is the only Premier League club that has seen its value drop, with Villa Park in Birmingham down by 9.6%.

Even lower league grounds are not immune from the massive hikes, according to Altus Group. Coventry City’s Coventry Building Society Arena, which was last week acquired by tycoon Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, has seen its value increase from £650,000 to £1.2m.

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