Cologne - Top flight Bundesliga clubs have increased their turnover an 11th straight year to €2.62 billion in the 2014-15 season, the German Football League (DFL) said on Wednesday.
The DFL said at the presentation of its annual Bundesliga Report this was an increase of 6.94 per cent from €2.45 billion in the previous campaign, with total turnover for first and second division clubs at €3.13 billion.
Bundesliga clubs earned €51 million after tax and the second tier also had a first overall profit since 2005-06, at €5.5 million. In all, 27 of the 36 clubs had a profit, and debts were reduced by €30.4 million.
The DFL said that professional football now offers more than 50,000 jobs, and that the clubs contributed almost €1 billion in tax payments.
"The Bundesliga continues to be a growth industry," DFL managing director Christian Seifert said. "But it must grow further if it wants to stay among the three top leagues in Europe."
Seifert said that turnover needs to be more than doubled to up to €6 billion over the next 10 years in order to keep German professional football competitive at the top.
After all, the latest Bundesliga turnover of €2.62 billion is just marginally higher than the €2.3 billion the 20 English Premier League clubs will receive from television rights alone from next season onwards.
Seifert also expects a significant rise in the German rights which are currently worth €628 million per season.
The German cartel office has imposed a "no single buyer rule" for the new rights deal from 2017-18 onwards, which is expected to generate more income.
Up to now the Sky network broadcasts all live matches, a situation Seifert named unique in Europe.
"We are giving away one of the 10 most valuable media rights in the world. Therefore it makes sense and is appropriate that the cartel office deals with it," Seifert said, adding that the DFL is in talks with the cartel office.
But Seifert was upbeat overall about the Bundesliga's standing in the competition with the other major football leagues.
"We have the biggest attendance worldwide, the most goals per game over the last 25 years, and 60 per cent domestic players," he said.