Premier League clubs generated $8.3 billion of revenue during the 2019/20 financial year, according to analysis from Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, which is a decline of 13% compared to 2018/19 ($9.6 billion).
2019/20 marks the first season that Premier League clubs have cumulatively reported a year-on-year fall in revenue.
Under normal circumstances, clubs have a financial year-end that aligns with their domestic season. However, the disruption to the 2019/20 football season because of the pandemic enforced shutdown has resulted in club revenues for that season being spread across the two financial years ending in the summers of 2020 and 2021.
Dan Jones, partner and head of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, commented:
“The decrease in revenue in the 2019/20 season is, unsurprisingly, down to the global economic and social disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to have a heavy impact on the 2020/21 season’s financial results when available.
“The absence of fans, postponement of matches and rebates to broadcasters had a significant impact on the revenue clubs have been able to generate. Nonetheless, whilst this has been the most challenging period for all concerned in the football industry, Premier League clubs showed impressive resilience in mitigating the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By completing the 2019/20 season in full, live football provided a great boost to the public and valuable content for broadcasters.”
The analysis reveals that Premier League clubs’ aggregate wages-to-revenue ratio increased to a record high of 72% in 2019/20, as a result of the decrease in year-on-year revenue.
With the decrease in revenue and a general inability to reduce costs that clubs had committed to incur, Premier League clubs made a collective pre-tax loss of almost $1.84bn, (2018/19: $0.4bn loss) which is the largest pre-tax loss in Premier League history.
“The full financial impact of the pandemic on the Premier League will depend on the timing of the return of fans to stadia in significant numbers and the ability of clubs to maintain and develop their commercial relationships, in particular at a time when many other industries are suffering,” Jones added.
“Matchday operations are a cornerstone of a club’s business model and fans’ absence will be more fully reflected in the financial results of the 2020/21 financial year, covering a larger period of the pandemic.
“Nonetheless, and with the recent announcement of a renewal of the Premier League’s domestic broadcast rights on similar terms to those currently in place, once fans are able to return in full, hopefully during the 2021/22 season, Premier League clubs have the potential to again return to record revenue levels.”