Counting the cost of covid: Ligue 1 records massive €645m deficit

May 6 – France’s Ligue 1 has reported a mammoth deficit of €645 million for the 2020-2021 financial year because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the collapse of the transfer market.

The annual report of the National Directorate of Control and Management (DNCG) revealed the huge increase in losses for Ligue 1, 140% up from the €269 million losses for the 2019-2020 year.

Matchday income in France’s top flight fell to just €7.9 million, a 95% drop from the €169 million earned in 2019-2020. The transfer market also contracted, with income falling to €320 million from €623 million the previous year.

However, broadcast revenue bounced back with an income of €835 million, up from €690 million. French football was plunged into crisis after the collapse of the Mediapro deal at the end of 2020.

Saint-Étienne, Reims and Dijon were the only Ligue 1 clubs to not run at a loss.

Paris Saint-Germain, who lost the league title to Lille last season, recorded a deficit of €224.8 million. The Parisians’ wage bill skyrocketed by 21% to €503 million. Ticketing revenue dropped from €38 million to just €961,000 because the Covid-19 crisis forced clubs to play matches behind closed doors.

This reflects a league-wide drop with clubs only generating €8 million in match-day revenue, a drop from the €170 million collected during the 2019-2020 season

Olympique Lyon (€107 million), Marseille (€76 million) and Bordeaux (€67 million) were some of the other clubs to record major losses.

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