The anticipated wave of misfortune didn’t take long to hit football’s docks, and European clubs have experienced huge losses due to a lack of ticket sales. According to the current financial projections, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Liverpool, and Manchester United will lose $10.6 billion in sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a UEFA report. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, on the other hand, said that European football is strong and ready to take on the task.
According to projections, lower-tier football clubs are expected to lose around €1.5 billion in the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 financial years. Aleksander Ceferin, on the other hand, expressed trust in a turnaround.
The UEFA chief stated, “In last year’s report, I said that European football was strong, united, resilient and ready for new challenges. But no one could have predicted that we would have to face the biggest challenge to football, sport and society in modern times.”
All the domestic leagues were operational right after the global lockdown eased out. The matches were conducted with extra precautions, including empty stadiums. The UEFA Champions League was separately carried out as a single-leg tournament in Lisbon, Portugal. Meanwhile, the UEFA Europa League was conducted in Germany, namely: Cologne, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, and Gelsenkirchen.
The study from European football’s governing body noted that every stage and sector of professional football was hit hard. Transfer investment by European clubs in the summer window of last year fell by 39% as a result of cut budgets.
Due to dwindling revenue sources, UEFA has temporarily relaxed Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, which seek to prevent clubs from spending more than they receive.
Ceferin did agree, however, that more permanent improvements to FFP could be needed. Last year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport reversed a two-season suspension levied by UEFA for violating FFP laws. City has reached the Champions League final for the first time in what should have been the first season of the suspension, where they will face Chelsea on May 29.
“This report clearly shows that we are now operating in a new financial reality, and it is becoming clear that our current Financial Fair Play regulations will need to be adapted and updated,” stated Ceferin.