The coronavirus pandemic could cost Europe’s largest football clubs about 4 billion euros ($4.52 billion) in revenue, according to a study published Tuesday by the association representing them.
The European Club Association (ECA) analysis also warned that the biggest losses will be felt next season, even if played in full.
«The financial impact of COVID-19 on European clubs, as far as we can see right now, is already a seismic impact, even with most competitions in operation,» ECA Chief Executive Charlie Marshall said.
«The financial impact does not stop with the resumption of football. Rather, it will continue until next season, so we must take steps to create a more sustainable football industry in the long run,» he added.
Football stopped in March in almost all of Europe. Although many leagues resumed activity last month, most had to do so without spectators. This was a particular blow in smaller leagues, where clubs rely more on ticket revenue.
There are more than 700 first division clubs in the 55 European associations, although a recent study by UEFA showed that the top 30 collect almost half of the total revenue.
The ECA study shows that club revenues would fall from an estimated 22 billion to 20.4 billion euros this season and from 23,100 million to 20.7 billion in 2020/21. These figures do not include player transfer revenue, the association stressed.