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German clubs suffer a massive loss in revenue due to Covid-19 pandemic

According to the German Football League (DFL), the total revenue loss caused by the pandemic is already more than €1 billion.

The top two leagues in Germany, Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 have announced that their clubs have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic as total revenue generated by football clubs fell by 10.5% to €4.05 billion ($4.47 billion).

The annual total revenue of the two leagues has decreased by more than €750 million since the previous pre-pandemic season in 2018-19. The combined revenue figures for the leagues have not been this low since the 2016-17 season when they stood at €4.01 billion.

According to the German Football League (DFL), the total revenue loss caused by the pandemic is already more than €1 billion.

The majority of matches in the 2020-21 season were played without spectators, with match-day revenue in the top two leagues dropping by around 95% compared to 2018-19. Last season, match-day revenue totalled €35.5 million, while it was approximately €650 million in 2018-19.

The DFL also attributed a temporary 50% drop in the number of people directly and indirectly employed in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 to behind-closed-doors matches. The number of employees in 2020-21 was 26,183, down from 52,786 in 2019-20.

It was also noted that only 10 of the 36 clubs in the top two divisions had a positive after-tax result during the 2020-21 season, compared to 28 in 2018-19. The absence of fans was cited as the primary reason once more.

Donata Hopfen, the speaker of the DFL executive committee, said, “Over the past two years, the pandemic has already had a dramatic economic impact on the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. Sadly, it is also affecting the current season – primarily because, once again, the stands often had to remain empty.”

Hopfen added, “We are facing an unprecedented situation. The era of growth as something to be taken for granted seems to be over. Without a doubt, this will massively impact our development in the years to come. Nevertheless, considerable challenges always come with considerable opportunities. We must explore new avenues to make German professional football future-proof while upholding our traditions and values. We will take on these topics together with all the clubs.”

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