Once we started to deal with the virus situation, the lives of the majority of people in the world have been greatly affected and football did not escape from that situation. The lack of income from tickets or the suspension of matches in the last season, among other effects of the pandemic, had serious consequences on the finances of the football clubs.
In the Deloitte Football Money League report, the financial situation of the top 20 football clubs in the world are analyzed and a comparison is made between their income in the 2018-19 season and in the 2019-20, the first financial year that suffered the impact of the pandemic. The difference was €1.1 billion less revenue in 2019-20. The report indicates that the main causes of the economic losses are due to the pandemic because the measures taken such as the lockdown forced the suspension of most football leagues in the world for several months and, in some cases, such as France and the Netherlands, the suspension of the season was final. To this, it must be added the reimbursement to sponsors and the losses for television rights, where the fall in income was 23%, in part because the seasons were extended after June 30, which makes the rest of income count towards the current season’s exercise.
FC Barcelona is the club that led the income table in both seasons in which it went from €840 million to €715.1 million, almost 15% less. Real Madrid CF, the second on the list in both seasons, went from earning €757 million to €714.9 million, around 5% less. It also must be noted that Real Madrid has now a difference of less than €200 thousand in revenue compared to his arci-rivals of FC Barcelona. FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund suffered a decline of 3.9% and 1.6%, respectively, as the Bundesliga ended before June 30. The curious cases of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg and Everton FC that had higher incomes in 2019-20 than 2018-19 stand out.
In the 3rd place, Bayern Munich, whose success in the Champions League has allowed them to limit the damage: they now travel at €634 million, losing “just” €26 million. And thus bypassing Manchester United, which is instead the company that has lost the most in this period: a loss of €130 million, from €711 to €580 million. The Red Devils are paying for the absence from the Champions League 2019-20, in addition to discounts and deferral of revenues from TV rights. Who has to thank the success in the English Premier League, not only from the sporting point of view and after a wait of 30 years, is Liverpool, which entered the top 5 “revenue” for the first time since 2001-02, with a turnover of €558.6 million, although down by €46 million. Liverpool bypassed Manchester City (-€61 million revenues) and PSG (-€95 million in revenue). And after Chelsea and Tottenham here is Juventus, in the 10th place, just under €400 million in revenues, with €62 million in losses (13.5% less compared to last year).
In Turin, however, there is a -36% drop in match-day revenues, the biggest percentage drop in ticket sales among all the clubs in the Money League. Revenues from TV rights also register a notable drop of €41.8 million euros (-20%). Commercial revenues for Juventus, on the other hand, saw an increase of €3.3 million euros (+2%), a result attributable to the renewal of sponsorship agreements with the Jeep brand (extended until 2023-24) and with Adidas (until 2026-27). Inter Milan owned by the Chinese conglomerate Suning remains in 14th place with €291 million, and a decrease in revenues of €73 million (equal to 20 percent). -37% drop in commercial revenues for Inter Milan, determined by the expiration of a series of agreements with important partners worth about €45 million euros per year. And also the drop in commercial revenues and TV rights, which was partly compensated by the growth in matchday revenues, with an increase of +14% to €56.9 million, thanks to the activation of an interruption insurance policy. A more than prescient idea given the times, not in the least taken by a Chinese-driven management, where the whole pandemic began.
Out of the Top 20 is AC Milan, 30th at €148 million in revenues due to the several absences from UEFA Champions League. AS Roma and West Ham also dropped out of Deloitte’s top 20; the Giallorossi largely due to their failure to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. In their place were Russia’s Zenit (15th, €236.5 million, +€56 compared to a year ago) and Eintracht (20th, €174 million, only -€8 million). Zenit’s revenues benefited from participation in the UEFA Champions League, the Germans were facilitated by the completion of the Bundesliga.
However, the impact of Covid-19 may be much higher by the end of 2020-21. In fact, according to studies carried out by Deloitte, this difference in income is expected to be €2 billion less this season, which can be a big problem in the world of football that is already being reflected in, for example, this quiet winter transfer window. Another impact to consider is in the smallest teams and if this situation can lead to create an even greater gap with respect to the more powerful teams whose income is always higher for different aspects. The pain is not over.