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LaLiga revenue falls 24.1% to €3.82bn for 2020/21

Spanish soccer body’s clubs accumulate net loss of €892m in Covid-hit season.

11 May 2022 Ed Dixon

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  • Matchday revenue tumbles 53% YoY
  • LaLiga expects revenue to surpass €4bn for 2021/22
  • Complete normalisation expected in 2023/24

Spanish soccer’s LaLiga has revealed its clubs raked in total revenues of €3.82 billion (US$4.03 billion) for the 2020/21 season, a decrease of 24.1 per cent compared to the 2019/20 campaign.

The biggest contributors to the decline were a significant reduction in matchday revenue and player transfer fees, which fell 53 per cent and 52 per cent year-over-year (YoY) respectively due to the impact of Covid-19.

Net losses for LaLiga as a whole amounted to €892 million (US$941 million), 60 per cent of which was incurred by a single club. LaLiga did not specify which team, though Barcelona revealed a loss of €481 million (US$508 million) after tax for 2020/21. 

LaLiga stated that the drop in revenue was less than what had been projected by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in its January 2021 forecast report. The fall is also less than in wider European soccer, with Uefa having stated the decline in ordinary turnover hit €7 billion (US$7.4 billion) in the two seasons affected by Covid.

Factoring in player transfer revenues, total revenue erosion in European soccer over the last two campaigns amounts to more than €10 billion (US$10.6 billion).

LaLiga described the outlook for the ongoing 2021/22 season as ‘the start of the recovery period’. The organisation is expecting revenue to once again surpass €4 billion (US$4.2 billion), as well as a forecasted increase of more than 180 per cent in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). An increase of more than 66 per cent is projected in terms of both earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and net result (NR).

LaLiga also cited its €2 billion (US$2.1 billion) investment deal with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, agreed at the end of 2021. The soccer body said this would accelerate the recovery in the short term, as well as aiding business potential in the longer term. 

Finances are expected to return to normal in 2023/24. 

‘Spanish professional football has overcome the most acute phase of the crisis caused by Covid-19, and has done substantially better than other leading competitions in terms of the impact on revenues and results, despite significant adjustments on an ad-hoc basis, especially in the last completed season, 2020/21,’ LaLiga said in a statement.

‘This has allowed the maintenance of gross debt levels in the season, keeping them at reasonable levels, with no liquidity strains and avoiding unexpected financial solvency difficulties at an aggregate level.’

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