Over the last two decades, football became a massive cash-generating industry bringing millions of dollars of profit across Europe. However, the COVID-19 crisis produced a costly financial hit to European football leagues, causing their clubs’ revenues to plunge deep below 2019 levels.
According to data presented by Safe Betting Sites, the combined revenues of FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, FC Bayern Munich, Manchester United, and Liverpool FC, as Europe’s five biggest football clubs, hit over $3.5bn in 2021, $330 million less than before the pandemic struck.
Real Madrid’s Revenues Plunged by $104M in Two Years, Three Times Bigger Loss than FC Barcelona
Considerable drops in broadcast and matchday profits triggered by lockdowns caused football clubs’ revenues to fall significantly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Forbes data revealed that FC Barcelona ranked as the leader among the European football clubs, with $792 million in revenue in 2021, compared to $824 million two years ago. Despite that, the team value of the Spanish club increased by $800 million, rising from $4bn in 2019 to $4.8bn in 2021.
As the second-leading football club by revenue Real Madrid witnessed a much bigger financial loss in this period. In 2019, one of the most prestigious football clubs worldwide generated $896 million in revenue. Over the last two years, this figure plunged by $104 million to $792 million in 2021, a three times bigger loss than its largest competitor FC Barcelona.
The Forbes data revealed that Real Madrid also managed to increase its team value despite the financial losses caused by the pandemic, with the figure rising from $4.2bn to $4.8bn in two years.
Manchester United Lost $151M in Revenue Amid COVID-19, the Biggest Loss Among the Top Five Clubs
As the third-largest football club by revenue, FC Bayern Munich also witnessed impressive revenue growth in recent years. Statistics show German club’s revenues more than doubled in a decade, jumping to over $751 million in 2019. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought a costly hit to the club’s finances, with revenues falling to $703 million in 2021, a $48 million drop in two years.
Statistics show that the leading Premier League club, Manchester United, suffered the largest revenue cut among the top five European football clubs in this period. In 2021, the club’s revenues hit $643 million, $152 million less than in 2019.
As the fifth-largest football club on this list, Liverpool FC is the only club whose revenues increased in two years, rising from $613 million in 2019 to $619 million in 2021.