Premier League clubs lost over £1BILLION combined and Chelsea suffered record financial losses in COVID-delayed 2020/21 season, with warning European Super League idea is not dead

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.

Chelsea were the worst affected of all Premier League clubs in the 2020/21 campaign which was largely played behind closed doors

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Chelsea were the worst affected of all Premier League clubs in the 2020/21 campaign which was largely played behind closed doors

The Premier League was severely affected by COVID-19

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The Premier League was severely affected by COVID-19

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 suffered record financial losses in the 2020/21 season

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Chelsea suffered record financial losses in the 2020/21 season


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.

The Super League announcement was a dark day for football

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The Super League announcement was a dark day for football

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.”

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