England’s Premier League soccer clubs racked up the biggest collective loss in their history last year, according to figures released Tuesday that lay bare the scale of the damage from the pandemic.
The pretax loss of £1 billion (€1.16 billion) for the 12 months to March was caused by a 13 per cent slump in revenue after games were halted, ticket sales evaporated and broadcasters sought rebates, the data from Deloitte showed.
It marks the first time that their combined revenue has fallen since the world’s richest soccer league was established almost three decades ago. The numbers were compiled from the financial accounts of 18 Premier League clubs and estimates for the other two.
Clubs avoided the worst when play was allowed to resume after the first wave of the virus. Some teams in countries such as France and the Netherlands are fighting for survival after competitions there were abandoned entirely.
Premier League revenue could bounce back to pre-Covid levels in the upcoming season, said Dan Jones, partner and head of the sports business group at Deloitte.
“The Premier League went into the Covid crisis way stronger than other leagues and it is coming out of it stronger than other leagues,” said Mr Jones. “I expect the Premier League will be a very clear leader of the pack.”
The revenue drop pushed the ratio of club wages-to-revenue to a record 72 per cent. Combined spending on wages grew 3 per cent – the smallest percentage increase in 15 years. – Bloomberg