Premier League clubs lost a combined £1.05 billion during the 2020/21 season.
And, with clubs still feeling the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, supporters have been warned to brace themselves for another attempt from the elite to launch a European Super League.
A new report has uncovered how top flight clubs’ finances were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Chelsea being the worst hit of all 20 sides.
The start of the 2020/21 campaign was delayed until September due to the late finishing of the previous term, which was halted at the halfway stage when COVID hit.
The combined loss of all Premier League clubs was slightly down on the figures for that previous season, where the 20 clubs together lost £1.38bn – a record figure since 2009.
Financial analysts Vysyble found Chelsea set a new record for losses in a single season since its summary work on the Premier League began in 2009 – a staggering £205.71 million.
The losses in the English top flight in 2020/21 came despite combined revenue of £4.88bn – £3.34bn of which was made up of broadcast income.
Matchday revenue was £30m, the report found. That’s a fraction of the £700m that would have been expected, with COVID having a huge impact on attendances with the majority of games being played behind closed doors.
Chelsea announce Sterling with Koulibaly next, Raphinha to Barcelona, Martinez latest
Koulibaly, Sterling and Gnabry sign – Chelsea team to challenge Liverpool and Man City
Mourinho rattled by Sunderland star’s tackle and marches onto the pitch to protest
Ex-Man United star Lingard warned he’s ‘overpricing himself’ amid West Ham links
Southampton open to offers for ace with Leicester lining up move
‘So proud’ – Beckham loved seeing his son Romeo score a free-kick for Inter Miami
A limited number of fans were then allowed to attend matches from May – which meant every team played at least one match in front of supporters before the season ended.
Despite the lack of crowds, staff costs still rose by 5.86 per cent to £3.45bn.
Vysyble co-founder Roger Bell said: “The ‘Big Six’ clubs [Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham] achieved combined economic losses of £688.76m which represents 63 per cent of the overall divisional economic loss for the year.”
Bell said Vysyble’s figures showed there was just one in three instances of a Premier League club achieving an economic profit over the period since 2009.
The season was also marked by a short-lived attempt by the ‘Big Six’ to form a European Super League, which quickly collapsed amid political pressure and fan outrage.
And with ownership of a Premier League football club not a guarantee of financial success, the financial expert admitted another attempt to form a lucrative breakaway is all the more likely in the coming years.
Bell added: “Owning a top English football club is not a profitable enterprise. Football lacks the merger and acquisition element that we commonly see in general commerce when a sector is performing poorly from a financial standpoint.
“Therefore, in football’s case, financial reform must either be operational or structural in nature. Indeed the Super League was an obvious and highly predictable expression of the latter option.
“With numbers as dire as they have been over the last two years, Super League version 2.0 is not at all inconceivable.”
Offers Of The Day
Bet365 – Bet £10, Get £50 In Free Bets* – CLAIM HERE
Open account offer. Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Minimum deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply 18+ Begambleaware.org
SEE MORE FREE BET OFFERS HERE