The Cost of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Premier League Clubs and the uncertainty of the 2021/2022 season.
Premier League clubs tend to travel to hotspots like the USA, Asia or Australia for a mix of warm-weather and crowds for their pre-season tours. Premier League clubs have put plans for pre-season tours on hold amid huge uncertainty over what this summer will look like.
- League bosses have yet to even confirm an official start date for the 2021/22 season yet and travel restrictions mean the usual money-spinning foreign trips are likely to be off the agenda.
Top clubs often sign up to multi-million-pound deals to play pre-season friendlies in the United States, Asia or Down Under but the money comes in from tickets sold and “bums on seats” as much as TV contracts.
But with uncertainty about whether crowds will be allowed in other countries, clubs are having to pull the plug on tours as they either look to re-arrange, forfeit deposits or, largely, just look to stage a few domestic friendlies ahead of the new season.
It is yet another commercial blow for clubs already struggling because of the pandemic as many tours are tie-ups with global sponsors and is part of deals with existing backers so will leave them millions out of pocket.
Meanwhile, UEFA are as bullish as ever publicly over the Euros being staged across 12 countries in the current format despite plenty of smoke signals about the tournament being moved with England cropping up as a popular theory. But the Football Association are definitely not the ones pushing that idea and, with so many commercial deals, ticketing, transport plans and logistics needed for a whole tournament, it would take a huge effort to reorganise at such late notice.
Premier League and Championship clubs will have lost over £800m this season due to the pandemic keeping fans out of grounds. Premier League and Championship clubs will have lost over £800m this season due to the pandemic keeping fans out of grounds.
Boris Johnson announced the road map out of lockdown on Monday, with fans earmarked to return to grounds on May 17. That’s just in time for the last round of Premier League matches, and the EFL playoffs.
For at least half the clubs in the top flight then – and as near as makes no difference for the other half – 2020/21 has been an entire season without match day income. That’s a combined loss of £693.7m for current Premier League clubs, according to their 2018/19 accounts which are the latest available from when fans could attend all matches.
It’s also a £112.8m loss for clubs currently in the Championship. That will result in a combined total of £806.5m lost in gate receipts by clubs in the top two divisions of English football.
Manchester United will be the biggest losers, having previously had the highest matchday income at £110.8m. They’re followed by Arsenal (£96.2m), Liverpool (£84.2), and Tottenham (£81.7m).
Premier League sides have huge amounts of broadcast income to soften the blow though, unlike Championship sides
Matchday income makes up large proportions of turnover at some clubs in the second tier of English football.
For most of these clubs, match day incomes make up the bulk of their revenues and it will be intriguing to see how they cope if the restrictions on fans been in stadiums is not lifted.