European football has suffered its first financial downturn since the global financial crisis of 2008-09.
The widespread pausing and cancellation of sporting events due to the COVID-19 pandemic ended up having a significant impact on European football revenue in 2020. In Deloitte’s annual football finance review, titled “Riding the challenge,” the analytics company reported that the football market in Europe recorded £22.1 billion in revenue during the 2019-20 season. While the report covered just the initial three months of the pandemic, Deloitte’s expert Dan Jones believes European football will feel an even bigger effect from the pandemic in the upcoming period.
“It will be a number of years before the full financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on European football is known. But we’re now beginning to see the scale of the financial impact that the pandemic has had on European clubs,” Jones remarked.
English Football League divisions saw a 13% revenue drop last season.
All around the world, the halting of sporting events led to drastic revenue reductions. English football clubs, for example, reported a combined revenue reduction of £150 million, while the Premier League clubs’ collective revenue dropped to £4.5 billion.
Looking at the five biggest leagues in Europe, their total revenue for the 2019-20 season was £13.2 billion. This is 11% less than the previous football season. Of those five leagues, the Italian one was the only one that tried to salvage the mess by reducing wages by 9%. As of May 2021, Serie A and B teams are in talks about returning to the 18-team format of the Series, starting with the 2023/24 football season, too.
So, is there any silver lining to this cloud? Well, for starters, the stir caused the best betting sites to come up with new and interesting betting opportunities for their players until the football season resumed. Football fans and punters were patient and didn’t lose hope, which was evident during the reopening of football stadiums in recent months, as well as during the Euro 2020 tournament. While it may take some time for the market to get back to its glory days, analysts believe the recovery will be strong, especially in the upcoming season.