Report say the coronavirus lockdown has already left a huge impact on the sports industry, causing thousands of sports games, competitions and professional leagues to be cancelled or postponed. European football is no exception, with cancelled matches, empty stadiums and end-of-season battles left in limbo.

Earlier this month, UEFA suspended Europe’s most prestigious competitions, the Champions League and Europa League, with 40 matches remaining. The same decision was made for the Euro 2020 qualifying playoffs, with the finals moved from this summer to next year.

The suspension of matches due to coronavirus pandemic is expected to produce a costly financial hit to European football leagues, with combined losses reaching up to €4.1bn.

The last two decades have witnessed an incredible growth of revenue of European football clubs, driven by a surge in broadcast rights values, for both domestic and international competitions. Some clubs have been able to increase revenue at multiples of their respective countries’ GDP growth, staying immune to broader market conditions. Combined with the sport’s ability to connect people, football became a massive recession-proof industry generating billions of euros in profit across Europe.

However, the coronavirus outbreak has changed that, leaving the largest European football leagues to face substantial losses. With a potential €1.28bn loss, the English Premier League is expected to suffer the most substantial financial hit among Europe’s leagues, revealed the Statista data. More than 60% of that amount or €800m comes lost broadcasting revenue. Lost commercial sales could amount to €300m, followed by a €180m drop in matchday profit.

Spanish La Liga is forecast to withstand the second-largest financial hit, losing around €970m due to coronavirus outbreak. Germany’s Bundesliga.

Italy’s Serie A and the French Ligue 1 follow with a potential €790m, €700m and €400m loss, respectively. As with the English Premier League, broadcasting rights are also expected to cause the biggest financial hit in these leagues.


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