2020 proved to be a difficult year for most industries, and the sporting world was one of the most visibly hit. Sporting leagues across the globe was essentially halted as the pandemic spread to even the most developed countries. Eventually, major sporting leagues were able to restart in “new normal” conditions in order to mitigate the financial impacts of the pandemic.
Nevertheless, the financial repercussions of the pandemic are clear to see in the latest study of football’s biggest clubs’ revenue numbers from the 2019-2020 season. Data presented by Safe Betting Sites breaks down the revenue streams of the Premier League’s traditional ‘Top Six’ and how 2020’s pandemic hit season compared to the seasons prior.
Manchester Utd Highest Revenue of 2019-2020 Despite 20% Decrease from 2019
Manchester United registered the highest revenue from the 2019-2020 season out of Premier League (PL) Clubs and the fourth overall in world football. The Red Devils earned €580.4M in revenue for 2020 which is a 19% drop from 2019’s €711.5M recorded revenue. Liverpool’s success on the pitch led them to the second-highest revenue out of PL clubs with €558.6M – an 8% drop from 2019.
The blue half of Manchester also earned over half a billion Euros in revenue despite registering an 11% drop from the previous season. Their €549.2M recorded revenue for 2019-2020 is the third highest out of PL teams. The three London clubs make up the bottom half of the list, with Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal earning €469.7M, €445.7M, €388M respectively.
Broadcast Revenue Total Loss from Top 6 Almost Half A Billion Euros
The effects of the pandemic on broadcast revenue differed from league to league depending on which approach was taken in terms of restarting their respective leagues. The PL decided to suspend its season with the aim of restarting it while others chose to end their seasons prematurely with the last registered league table considered the final outcome.
The PL also reached favourable agreements with different broadcasters, as the Deloitte Sports Business Group notes; “The Premier League appeared to very successfully and quickly agree amicable arrangements regarding scheduling, match allocation and broadcast rights rebates with its domestic broadcast partners throughout the pandemic to date.” Because of this they add: “the Premier League seems to have avoided any disruption to its broadcast arrangements.”
Nevertheless, the PL still experienced an overall decrease in broadcasting revenue from the ‘Top Six’ that amounted to €466M. Tottenham experienced the highest drop in broadcast revenue with an estimated total decrease of €122M for the 2019-2020 season. This is largely due to Tottenham being eliminated in the Round of 16 stage of the UEFA champions league compared to reaching the final the season prior.
Tottenham Only Club in Top Six to Experience Increase in Matchday Revenue
Tottenham’s first full season in their new stadium allowed them to see an increase in matchday revenue of an estimated €15M – the largest matchday revenue recorded by any PL club. This is even made more significant considering that the five other clubs from the ‘Top Six’ registered a combined €81M loss in matchday revenue.
Commercial Revenue Source of Growth for Some Clubs
Commercial Revenue was a silver lining for many clubs in Europe, with several big clubs able to pivot their resources and still record positive growth in 2020. Five of the top six clubs experienced growth in commercial revenue of a total of €81M with Arsenal experiencing the highest growth of €36M. Chelsea meanwhile experienced an €11M decrease in commercial revenue as the club invested in its future commercial growth.