With football in England suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus crisis, it is threatening to wreak havoc when it comes to the financial health of clubs.
While the UK prepares to reach its peak in the pandemic this week, it’s unclear at this stage when the season will resume and the remaining games played.
UEFA’s decision to postpone EURO 2020 allows for domestic leagues to be completed later than usual in June and July, but that will only be possible if it is deemed safe to do so.
Given what’s at stake in terms of the financial losses that could be incurred if the campaign isn’t completed though, it’s no wonder that clubs are eager to finish it rather than see the season be cancelled.
As reported by the Financial Times, an adviser to a leading English side has painted a worryingly negative picture of the situation.
“Anyone who hasn’t managed the balance sheet properly is going to be in trouble. There are clubs out there who will not come out the other side. This is going to be the end of the game for a lot, including in the Premier League.”
Despite revenues for the Premier League clubs hitting a record £4.8bn last season, the way in which they are run and the significant outgoings involved could put some at risk.
As per FT, Burnley chairman Mike Garlick has already conceded that they could run out of money by August unless football returns to allow them to collect ticket sales revenue, broadcast deal cash and other avenues directly connected to games being played.
Meanwhile, a row has erupted over the past week not only on certain clubs deciding to furlough non-playing staff with a backlash over the government scheme not being aimed at them, but also over the players taking a wage cut to protect those jobs, help the clubs and “do their part” as health secretary Matt Hancock said earlier this week.
The report above suggests that losses as a result of the crisis could rise to £1.1bn for Premier League clubs. It’s then no wonder why there is pressure on wage cuts as some of these clubs might facing an extremely bleak situation in the coming months if things don’t improve.
Whether it’s a wage cut, a deferral, early payments from the Premier League, a decision to play behind closed doors to allow Sky and BT to broadcast games, it could all become a desperate scramble very soon to get the finances flowing again, and that’s not to mention the clubs in the lower leagues who are staring at an even bigger risk of going under.