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Top clubs face Sh266 billion revenue hit from pandemic

Last updated 1 month ago | By Reuters

Cutout photos of fans in the stands before a Serie A match. [Reuters]

Europe’s elite football clubs are expected to miss out on over 2 billion euros (Sh266 billion) in revenue by the end of the 2020-21 season due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Deloitte’s Football Money League.

The report published yesterday said the figure includes amounts missed in 2019-20 when the top 20 highest-earning clubs in Europe earned 8.2 billion euros of combined revenue, which was down 12 per cent on the previous season.

That drop in income of 1.1 billion euros was primarily down to the deferral of broadcast revenue into the financial year ending in 2021, with all the major leagues brought to a standstill in March last year due to the pandemic.

With the majority of games being played without spectators since June, matchday revenue for top European clubs is likely to remain close to zero until the end of the 2020-21 season.

“Matchday operations are a cornerstone of a club’s business model and help drive other revenue-generating activity,” Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said.

Real Madrid's Eden Hazard, right, celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Alaves and Real Madrid at Mendizorroza stadium in Vitoria, Spain, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

“The final size of the financial impact of the pandemic on football will depend, in no small part, on the timing and scale of fans’ return.”

The Money League standings for 2019-20 remained broadly consistent with previous years as Barcelona held the top spot with an annual revenue of 715.1 million euros.

Barca, however, suffered the second largest revenue fall among the clubs featuring on the list, having delivered a record-breaking year in 2018-19 when they became the first club to break the 800 million euros revenue barrier. On the other hand Real Madrid reported an 8 per cent increase.

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