Deloitte Football Money League: Pandemic set to cost top clubs over £1.7bn

source of images, Getty Images


Barcelona’s domestic and European matches have been played behind closed doors since the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic will cost Europe’s 20 richest football clubs more than £1.7billion by the end of this season.

The Deloitte Football Money League survey revealed that clubs had already lost around £976million until the end of the extended 2019-20 season.

Clubs suffered considerable losses on broadcast and match revenue.

Barcelona generated more money than any other club in Europe but still saw the second biggest drop in revenue in absolute terms.

The Catalan club saw a drop from £741.1m to £627.1m but remain narrowly ahead of La Liga rivals Real Madrid, whose revenue fell from £667.5m to £627m.

Bayern Munich (£556.1m), Manchester United (£509m) and Liverpool (£489.9m) make up the top five, with Liverpool rising from seventh place last year, replacing Paris St-Germain.

Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus make up the rest of the top 10.

Eighteen of the 20 clubs retain their places since last year’s survey – with Zenit St Petersburg (15th – £207.4m) and Eintracht Frankfurt (20th – £152.6m) replacing the AS Roma and West Ham United.

Most club revenue in 2019-20

Turnover £ (2018-19 figure)

Source: Deloitte Football Money League

What caused the drop in revenue?

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the sports world for much of 2020 and into 2021.

This led to the postponement in March of the top divisions in England, Spain, Germany, Russia and France. The French Ligue 1 season was called off, while the Bundesliga resumed in mid-May and other leagues followed in June, all behind closed doors.

Clubs suffered an £832m drop in broadcast revenue, primarily due to the delayed end to the 2019-20 season, meaning broadcast revenue was carried over to the financial year ending in 2021, but also due to broadcaster discounts linked to the disrupted 2019-20 season. .

For example, Manchester United said in October that their broadcast revenue had been cut by 41.9%, from £240.2m to £141.2m.

There was also an overall drop of £228million for the 20 clubs in matchday revenue, although there was a £93million increase in commercial revenue.

Matchday turnover will fall even further for any clubs whose fans are unlikely to be able to return in significant numbers for any of the 2020-21 seasons.

“Times of testing”

“There is no doubt that this is one of the most trying times the football industry has ever seen,” said Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.

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Bayern Munich’s Champions League victory saw them rise to third place in the Money League

“While no football club has been immune to the challenges of Covid-19, and other clubs have suffered more in relative terms, those in the Money League have suffered the greatest financial impact in value terms. absolute.

“The safe return of supporters to stadiums in large numbers is one of the highest priorities in world football. Matchday operations are the cornerstone of a club’s business model and help generate further income generating activities.

“The fans’ absence will be more fully reflected in next year’s Money League. The ultimate extent of the pandemic’s financial impact on football will depend, in large part, on the timing and extent of the return. fans.”

Can sport recover?

“We remain firm believers in the fundamental value of top-flight football for fans, broadcasters and other business partners,” insists Jones.

“We are confident in the resilience of the industry and expect it to rebound strongly in the years to come.

“The events of the past year have tested the ability of clubs to generate their own revenue growth. on the global economy and the path to recovery becomes clearer.

“However, the full financial impact of Covid-19 may not be realized for years.”

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