Several Premier League clubs will be hit by business rate hikes over the next five years as the rateable value of their stadiums jumps by up to 300 per cent.
Swansea City, currently embroiled in a battle to avoid relegation, saw their rateable value increase to £1.2m at the national revaluation on 1 April compared to £300,000 in 2010, according to ratings adviser Altus Group.
Its new analysis reveals that Southampton and Stoke City have been hit by rateable value hikes of 296 per cent and 293 per cent respectively while Burnley's have risen 280 per cent.
In all, eight of the 10 largest rises go to Premier League clubs.
Last season's surprise Premier League champions Leicester City have seen their rateable value go up 264 per cent.
Business rates are calculated on the basis of a "rateable value". For football stadiums and grounds, these are calculated using gate receipts – the maximum possible and the actual average – rather than local property values. This is weighted with an assessment of the club's ability to pay, based on whether it might go up, go down or maintain its league position.
According to Altus, matters of relegation and promotion can only be assessed using one fixed date before revaluation. In the case of the 1 April 2017 revaluation, the assessment was made two years ago. As a result, a relegated club can be left for years with a bill that was calculated when their prospects were better.
Altus executive vice president Robert Hayton said: “The worst thing a club can do is get promoted just before the date used for the revaluation and then crash out again soon after. There’s no adjustment allowed mid list and you’ll be stuck with your inflated rateable value for the next five years.”
The grounds with the highest rateable values belong to top-flight teams with the biggest grounds, such as Arsenal (£6.13m) and Manchester United (£6.09m).
However, Premier League giants including Chelsea and Arsenal actually saw a drop in their rateable values, of minus seven per cent each. Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur both enjoyed falls of minus eight per cent.
Hayton added: “This is a quirky area for valuation. The result is that the Premier League's superpowers – Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool – enjoy falls in their rateable values, while the Premiership’s second-rank clubs face the biggest rises. They also face the greatest threat of relegation.”
The final business rates bill is set using a multiplier of roughly half of the rateable value and then tempered by a system of transitional relief, cushioning ratepayers against unaffordable rises.