The coronavirus pandemic has been going on for more than a year, and the consequences are catastrophic. Like all spheres of life, professional sports also suffered a significant blow. The financial losses are huge, which was confirmed by UEFA in its latest report, which states that clubs across Europe will lose almost 9,000,000,000 euros.
"The current projection of losses during the period 2019-21 is 7,200,000,000 billion euros for clubs from the 55 strongest leagues and 1,500,000,000 for clubs from lower ranks." "Every level and every corner of professional football has been hit hard.
The pandemic has particularly affected clubs that rely on the presence of fans, "the report said. The pandemic significantly affected the football market, so consumption during the last winter transfer window fell by as much as 56 percent compared to a year earlier.
When it comes to the summer transfer period from 2020, consumption was 39 percent lower than in the summer of 2019, and 30 percent if we look at the average of the previous three summer transfer periods. The report shows that four billion euros were lost due to unsold tickets, 2.7 billion euros from sponsorship agreements, and 1.4 billion euros based on broadcasting.
UEFA has repeatedly called for a reform of the Financial Fair Play, which is designed to limit more spending by clubs than their earnings - which in practice has not proved to be very successful - and it is increasingly certain that this will happen soon.
"The pandemic has severely disrupted the entire football ecosystem. Professionals, amateurs and youth. It requires deep cooperation and a coordinated response across the football pyramid." "Solidarity, not personal interest, must prevail and win," said European Football House President Alexander Ceferin.
In the period from 2018 to 2021, UEFA allocated 558,000,000 euros to the solidarity fund for clubs, and the money was distributed according to the following principle: 108,000,000 clubs that reached the 3rd round of qualifications, 32,000,000 for clubs that eliminated in the playoffs, 130,000,000 for the development of youth football to all clubs that have not played UEFA competitions, 269,000,000 for expected costs and subsidies for the Europa League and 21,000,000 for national associations.
These figures will be increased significantly for the period 2021-2024. "The report clearly shows that we are now working in a new financial reality and that it is becoming clear that our current regulations on Financial Fair Play will need to be adapted and updated."
"Financial sustainability will remain our goal and UEFA and European football will work as a team" Ceferin announced