—- Clubs in  Europe’s top divisions collected a combined revenue of €20.1bn last year, according to research carried by European governing body UEFA.

The statistics took into account the financial accounts provided by 711 clubs. The revenue numbers continue a trend in European soccer, with the annual statistics showing a 10pc rise on last year.

The clubs are also reported to have made a collective first-time profit of €600 million, with the figures marking an emphatic swing in the clubs’ finances, while also including spending on player transfers.

This follows on from the previous year’s records, which showed a loss of close to €300m.

According to the study, exactly half of the 54 top-tier UEFA divisions included in the research were profitable last year. The economic improvement coincides with the implementation of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, which were brought in to protect the financial situation of each club.

President Aleksander Ceferin said: ‘Thanks to Financial Fair Play, European football is healthier than ever before.’

The report also stated that the operating profit of the clubs without the inclusion of player transfer sums was a collective €1.4bn. Engand’s Premier League reported 18 out of 20 clubs as profitable in their respective financial years up to June 2017.