What impact could a full 2020-21 Premier League season without supporters have on club finances?
With matches likely to be played behind closed doors for a long time due to the ban on mass gatherings in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, no fan means any income for the day.
Football Association President Greg Clarke said it was difficult to see supporters returning to matches “anytime soon” and that the Premier League was preparing for the possibility of playing next season without supporters.
Broadcast agreements and increasingly lucrative business opportunities mean that match revenues contribute to a lower proportion of total club revenue in the modern era than before – but this can still have a significant impact.
And the biggest teams lose the most.
Football finance speaker Kieran Maguire uses eight graphics to show the potential financial impact of a 2020-21 season behind closed doors.
Who gets the most out of match days?
The Premier League “Big Six” clubs (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham) had group match revenue of £ 495 million in 2018-19, which represented 73% of the total achieved in Premier League.
Manchester United, which has the highest capacity Old Trafford stadium and average attendance in the Premier League, generated more than £ 4 million per game in 2018-19.
In total, eight teams made more than £ 1 million per home game during the season.
How important is income on match day?
In the first season of the Premier League in 1992-93, revenue per game generated £ 89 million (43%) out of a total of £ 205 million.
Today’s share is now just 13%, although the absolute figure has risen to £ 677 million.
However, in these totals there is a range of income from fans of the day.
This is due to a combination of differences in stadium capacity, participation in national and European cup competitions and some clubs with more lucrative corporate hospitality.
Arsenal generated almost a quarter of its total match day revenue last season, making them financially vulnerable to an extended period without matches being played.
And who has money in the bank?
Arsenal had the second-highest cash reserves last summer, but much of that will have been spent since.
Daily income and wages
Fans often pretend to pay players’ wages. While this is true when taking into account the global broadcasting agreements paid for by fan subscriptions, daily income represents 22% of the total payroll.
Again, there is a wide variation in terms of the contribution made by fans of individual clubs.
Arsenal and Tottenham fans, both with more than 60,000 capacity stadiums and significant revenue for corporate and football matches, contribute more than 40p for every £ 1 of salary.
At the other end of the scale, there were seven clubs whose supporters’ contributions to the day were 10p or less for £ 1 salary.
The total Premier League payroll for 2018-2019 was just over £ 3 billion and wages have increased by 2,811% since 1992-3, against higher general inflation during the same period. 108%.
If there is a layoff for a full season, the club payroll will decrease as there will be fewer match day staff required in areas such as catering, safety and housekeeping. These costs, however, are a relatively small component of the overall wage cost.
Manchester United, for example, employed 3,340 people on match days at Old Trafford. Assuming they are on the national living wage and working over a six hour period, this represents less than £ 5 million a year – the total US payroll in 2018-2019 was 332 million of pounds sterling.
Profits and losses
Premier League clubs suffered a collective loss of £ 384 million in 2018-19.
This was guaranteed by a combination of player sales and owner documents. With the transfer market expected to collapse following Covid-19 and many homeowners facing a significant drop in wealth, some clubs may face tough times ahead, as will many others. businesses.
If the Premier League is unable to replace the day’s £ 677 million in revenue during a season lockout, there will likely be more clubs forced to negotiate or deal with cut wages the possibility of going bankrupt.
Premier League football is not immune to the virus.