The English Premier League is set to face a shortfall of £540 million in matchday revenue across the 2020/21 season, according to the Financial Times (FT).
The FT reports that having gathered the figures together, Premier League officials calculated that teams competing in the league could lose a significant amount of money, owing to only a partial reopening of stadiums, which is planned for October.
According to reports, the results have provoked club officials into encouraging the government into relaxing the proposed number of supporters allowed into stadiums to reduce the anticipated financial losses. There have been apparent complaints of “double standards” whereby fans will not be allowed to sit next to each other in an open-air stadium but are allowed to in pubs and restaurants.
It has also been reported that there will be a substantial cost for the competing clubs to ensure that their venues are as safe as possible for returning fans, thought to be in the region of £16 million.
England’s top flight footballing league has already suffered great financial losses from the disruption caused to the 2019/20 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was reported that the league lost £850 million in revenue from lost matchday income and the £330 million rebate paid to the broadcasters who were unable to air any Premier League football after it was suddenly halted in March.
Alongside these shortfalls, the Premier League terminated its £523 million Chinese broadcast partnership last week, which has prohibited even further financial gains for the 20 competing sides.
Throughout September, games will be played behind closed doors, however, in October, it is expected that supporters will be welcomed backed into stadiums, up to a third full, with the Sports Ground Safety Authority advising the league to only open up at 23 per cent of the capacity.
Last week, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters stated that: “We are committed to having full stadia as soon as possible, with safety always our priority.”
Fans have been critical of the decision made to only broadcast 220 of the 380 matches next season in the UK. There have been calls for games to be shown live until stadia can be reopened in full.
Chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Association, Kevin Miles, said: “When exceptional circumstances prevent the loyalist of fans from being at a game . . . then exceptional measures are needed to allow some form of access to live games.”
Author: Jake Wilkin