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FOOTBALL SUFFERS HUGE SETBACK IN REVENUE DUE TO COVID-19

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Farouq Oduola A.

The coronavirus pandemic is having an impact on European football, with overall revenues declining by €3.7 billion in the 2019-20 season according to Deloitte.

The big five European leagues saw an 11 percent drop in revenue from the previous season, before COVID-19, as part of the first collective reduction in revenues since 2008-09.

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The Premier League was particularly hard hit, with revenue dropping 13% for the first time in the league’s history. Despite the fact that more than half of Premier League clubs lost a lot of money, the league’s revenue was still 60% higher than it’s nearest competitor.

“The full financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on European football will be understood in a number of years,” said Dan Jones, partner and head of Deloitte’s Sports Business Group. “However, we’re starting to see the full extent of the pandemic’s financial impact on European clubs.

He went on to say that Deloitte’s study only covered the first three months of the campaign, with “certain parts of revenue and costs connected to the 2019-20 season being recognised in the financial year ending 2021, and consequently next year’s edition of Deloitte’s Annual Review of Football Finance.”

Due to the delay of certain revenue, Premier League teams are expected to recoup to some level in the next report. Deloitte predicts that if fans return to stadiums in 2021-22, attendance will set a new high.

“Despite the setbacks of the past year, football — and public interest in it — has showed remarkable resilience,” Jones remarked. “We are optimistic that the 2021-22 season will mark a return to normalcy, resulting in a robust revenue recovery in the ensuing seasons.”

The Bundesliga, which finished its season ahead of the financial year’s end, experienced the least drop, at only 4%. As a result, they surpassed La Liga as Europe’s second-highest revenue league. La Liga, on the other hand, is projected to retake second place in the following report.

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