Premier League clubs lost about £1 billion in revenue at the end of the 2019-2020 season according to new figures published by a finance company, Deloitte.
The report of the finance company made it known that all the Premier League clubs that participated in the 2019-2020 season reported a huge fall in revenue which was the largest in the history of the league.
The report revealed that the clubs recorded a fall in revenue due to the impact of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic that shut down football in the United Kingdom for over three months.
This means that the true financial cost of the pandemic is 5 times more than the £200 million the league lost in the 2018-2019 season.
Recall that from mid-March 2020 to early June of the same year, the Premier League was halted due to the outbreak of the pandemic. The stoppage of the league meant that the games scheduled for that period of the year had to be rescheduled.
When the Premier League restarted for the completion of the remaining games in the 2019-2020 season, the games were played behind closed doors to avoid the spread of the dreaded pandemic.
This practice continued until the season ended. Even when the 2020-2021 season started, the clubs continued to play behind closed doors due to the pandemic.
It was towards the end of the 2020-2021 season that football fans were allowed into match venues in a controlled percentage.
Hence, in most parts of the 2019-2020 seasons, the Premier League clubs were not able to make money through match day ticket sales.
Deloitte disclosed that aside from not being able to generate revenue through matchday tickets, the clubs lost revenue in the rebates they had to pay to broadcasters for the rescheduled games.
Despite the cumulative pre-tax loss of about £1 billion, all the Premier League clubs were still able to generate a combined £4.5billion throughout the 2019-2020 season.
Dan Jones of Deloitte’s sports business group said: “The decrease in revenue in the 2019-20 season is, unsurprisingly, down to the global economic and social disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to have a heavy impact on the 2020-21 season’s financial results when available.
“The absence of fans, postponement of matches, and rebates to broadcasters had a significant impact on the revenue clubs have been able to generate.
“The full financial impact of the pandemic on the Premier League will depend on the timing of the return of fans to stadia in significant numbers and the ability of clubs to maintain and develop their commercial relationships, in particular at a time when many other industries are suffering.
“Matchday operations are a cornerstone of a club’s business model and fans’ absence will be more fully reflected in the financial results of the 2020-21 financial year.
“Once fans can return in full, hopefully during the 2021/22 season, Premier League clubs have the potential to again return to record revenue levels.”