Deloitte, a financial advisory firm, said European football revenues rose 10% in the 2020-2021 season despite the near-total absence of fans from stadiums during the exceptional season.
This season is unlike any other as the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced matchday revenue, but Deloitte’s Annual Football Finance Review reports that the football industry has held its ground across the continent with a total revenue of €27.6 billion.
Revenues for the top five domestic leagues in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France rose 3%, Serie A revenue increased 23% to €2.5bn and Premier League revenue rose 8% to €5.5bn.
The report states that “deferred broadcast revenue from the previous season was 48% in the case of the Italian league, and the success of the postponed Euro 2020, which took place across the continent in 2021, has been the driving force behind revenue growth in Europe.”
“Clubs across Europe have played a significant proportion of matches behind closed doors or with limited seating capacity in the 2020-2021 season, resulting in an almost complete loss of matchday revenue,” said Tim Bridge, Principal Partner at Deloitte Sports Working. Group on the sustainability of the industry, lucrative broadcast deals, the success of the European Championship and confirmation that the European football market has shown significant revenue growth over the past year.”
But behind these impressive numbers, not everything is so rosy.
The German league recorded an overall decline in revenue of 6 percent to three billion euros, while the Spanish league also fell by 6 percent.
Of the top five leagues, the Premier League alone saw combined club profits rise from £49m to £479m.
While total net debt in the Premier League increased by just 4% to reach £4.1bn in 2020-21, Tier 2 debt increased by 32%, with wage costs exceeding revenue for the fourth consecutive year.