3 min read

Liverpool Named As Premier League’s Most Sustainable Club


In a historic moment for the world of football, Liverpool Football Club has been crowned the Premier League’s most sustainable club, after the Sustainability Index, developed by Fair Game, rated each club on their financial sustainability, good governance, equality standards, and fan engagement.

Fair Game, in partnership with independent experts and organisations in football, created fair and impartial metrics for the four criteria, which are:

  • The financial criteria is built on standard accounting measures – credit ratio, debt ratio, loans and wages – which analyse every club’s credit, debt, loans, revenues and wages.
  • The fan engagement metric uses data from the respected Fan Engagement Index and how full a club’s stadium is on an average matchday.
  • The Equality Standards measure analyses board make-up and couples that with data from the Football Leadership Diversity Code, which looks at recruitment at football clubs.
  • Good Governance couples data from Responsiball with information taken from the Sports Positive League website and whether a club is deemed to be state-owned as defined by FairSquare.

According to the Index, Liverpool led the way in governance, scoring highly in the Football Leadership Diversity Code, which makes up 50% of the governance score.

On the other hand, Nottingham Forest finished bottom of the table. Their rating was hindered by their financial rating of 1.0 out of a maximum score of 40.

According to the index, Forest’s finances were strugging, with figures showing they spent 202% of their revenue on players’ wages, nearly triple the recommended amount of 70%.

Commenting on index, Fair Games CEO, Niall Couper, said: “For the first time, we have a measure that shows which clubs are well run. But equally, we’ve shown the challenges clubs face to become sustainable – vital in ensuring the history and traditions of football clubs, so cherished by supporters, are secure for the long term.”

“Football is in crisis. The debacle of the European Super League demonstrated the chasm of feeling between clubs and supporters. The pandemic and cost-of-living crises have stretched finances to the limit. Discrimination remains rife. And it’s questionable whether the ‘Owners and Directors Test’ is fit, or proper.

“It isn’t just about finances. The Premier League, rightly, doesn’t want to give away more money to gambling clubs that are poorly run. We believe football lower down the pyramid needs more money, but it should be given to clubs that are well run – ones that look towards long-term sustainable revenue streams.

“What the Index provides is the mechanism to distribute more money to clubs that are run well. Football needs to start incentivising good behaviour,” he said.

The announcement comes after the Premier League endorsed the rainbow laces campaign in October.

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