The financial hit that Premier League clubs and the FA could take during the coronavirus crisis are raising fears with fixtures remaining suspended.
As noted by the Daily Mail, it’s suggested that multiple Premier League clubs are under financial strain as having taken out loans, they now face the threat of having to collectively repay up to £762m of broadcast rights money if matches aren’t played.
The latest decision taken this week was to suspend all fixtures indefinitely which is the appropriate move considering the number of reported cases and deaths continue to see sharp increases every 24 hours in the UK this week.
The report above suggests that with some clubs waiting on their TV money payments to pay back loans, if that money doesn’t arrive, it could leave them in an uncomfortable position to continue to cover their costs and run sufficiently.
It’s suggested that they will try to reach agreements with Sky and BT in the worst case scenario to ensure that repayments can be spread rather than having to pay up entirely and immediately.
Meanwhile, the Mail also report that the FA is set to lose out on millions of pounds after IMG withheld payment as none of the FA Cup quarter-final games have been played.
If the competition were to be cancelled entirely, that could see the situation escalate further, and so it remains to be seen what is decided moving forward.
When taking these factors into consideration, it’s clear as to why there might be pressure to complete the season regardless of how long it takes.
With EURO 2020 postponed until next year coupled with UEFA competitions being pushed back, it has cleared the schedule in June and July for domestic leagues to be completed.
With the financial strains detailed above, it will surely lead to a general consensus among clubs that they must finish the season and conclude all cup competitions too as they stand to miss out significantly if games aren’t shown on TV and they are subsequently not paid TV rights.
Naturally, the priority will remain the safety of the players, staff and coaches, as well as fans if they are allowed to attend games further down the line although playing behind closed doors initially would be the sensible approach.
However, with the threat of the crisis cancelling the season if the virus outbreak continues to claim lives heading into May, it will have many clubs nervously considering the financial concerns involved.