Top European clubs could be set to lose a staggering £3.5BILLION due to the financial devastation caused by coronavirus – even if the major domestic leagues and competitions are completed.
The figure was mooted following a meeting of stakeholders within the game last week, and it is believed that if competitions are not finished the fallout could rise to more than £6.2bn.
The Bundesliga resumed on Saturday while the Premier League is aiming to restart on June 12 – and top flight officials are working tirelessly to form a solution to complete the competitions before the middle of October.
UEFA is said to be committed to retaining the inclusivity of its competitions and would only cut access as a last resort – though adjustments may have to be made, including the potential for one-off ties and regional qualifying, if the process is to be completed on time.
It is believed a plan to normalize the situation is to arrange triple-header international windows in October and November – but it may be difficult to implement in other confederations given the players’ need to make lengthy and necessary journeys ‘home’.
One of the major stumbling blocks to the start of the 2020/21 international competitions are medical protocols.
The chief of UEFA’s medical committee, Tim Meyer, was responsible for the protocols introduced by the Bundesliga for its return this weekend.
However, expanding the protocols to the 28 clubs from 12 countries playing in the Champions League and Europa League will present a huge challenge to organizers.
Borussia Dortmund have already said that the financial impact of playing behind closed doors will cost them £2.6m per game.
While business analysts Vysyble have said Premier League clubs will lose £878m if matches have to be played behind closed doors until the end of the 2020-21 season.
Bigger clubs are set to suffer more, with Manchester United to lose £140m and Arsenal £122m, while Bournemouth’s income would reduce by £6.7m.
Charlie Marshall, the chief executive of the European Clubs’ Association, confirmed that clubs with bigger fanbases will suffer the most.
“The complete severing of matchday income is the big scare at the moment as these revenues have simply been switched off,” he said.
“This is financially devastating for all clubs – particularly those who rely more proportionately on sheer numbers of fans.
“The more popular clubs across Europe are the main drivers of the transfer market and of collective media rights through their halo effect, on which the entire football ecosystem depends.
“Economically speaking, the longer the crisis continues, the less the ability of the so-called bigger clubs to generate their full stack of income, the more serious the knock-on effects of suffering.”