Tuesday 15 June 2021 12:01 am

Premier League clubs slip to record £1bn loss as Covid-19 hammers income from match days and broadcasters

Premier League clubs suffered a record aggregate pre-tax loss of almost £1bn in 2019-20 as a result of Covid-19’s impact on football.

The combined revenues of the 20 top-flight teams fell for the first time ever to £4.5bn, a drop of 13 per cent, according to Deloitte.

A delay to the completion of the season, the ban on fans attending matches and rebates to broadcasters all hit income.

“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,” said Deloitte’s Dan Jones.

“The absence of fans, postponement of matches and rebates to broadcasters had a significant impact on the revenue clubs have been able to generate.”

Premier League clubs’ collective matchday revenue – that derived from fans attending and spending at games – fell 13 per cent.

Broadcast revenue, which was affected by repayments made to Sky and BT for disruption to the schedule, was down 24 per cent.

Premier League accounts for 2020-21 also hard hit

Fewer than one in four Premier League clubs reported a pre-tax profit. Some of those that did benefited from extending their financial years to record additional delayed revenue.

“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,” added Jones, head of Deloitte’s Sports Business Group. 

“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, covering a larger period of the pandemic. 

“Nonetheless, and with the recent announcement of a renewal of the Premier League’s domestic broadcast rights on similar terms to those currently in place, once fans are able to return in full, hopefully during the 2021-22 season, Premier League clubs have the potential to again return to record revenue levels.”