Pandemic costs Premier League clubs £1billion

Norwich City beat Manchester City in front of a full house at Carrow Road in the Premier League 

Norwich City beat Manchester City in front of a full house at Carrow Road in the Premier League - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City bucked the trend in the first study of the financial impact of the pandemic on the Premier League, which saw an overall pre-tax loss of £1billion for the English top flight in the 2019/20 season. 

Finance company Deloitte have produced the analysis spanning the initial impact of the pandemic during the second half of the Canaries' last top flight tilt. 

City recorded a pre-tax profit of £2.1m in their accounts to July 2020, although that came after factoring in a £12.3m hit attributed to the impact of coronavirus in rebates to broadcasters and season ticket holders. 

Last season’s continued absence of supporters inside Carrow Road - bar a few pilot events during the Championship title winning season - has seen the financial cost of the pandemic on the club rise to nearer £30m. 

For the period covered by the Deloitte report the lack of matchday spectators, coupled with a rebate and delay affecting some broadcast income, saw revenue fall around 13 per cent, although the 20 top-flight clubs still brought in a combined £4.5billion. 

A cumulative pre-tax loss of almost £1bn was also the largest in Premier League history and almost five times the previous season's £200m figure as the true financial cost of the pandemic became clear. 

Dan Jones, of Deloitte's sports business group, told PA Sport: "The decrease in revenue in the 2019/20 season is, unsurprisingly, down to the global economic and social disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to have a heavy impact on the 2020/21 season's financial results when available. 

"The absence of fans, postponement of matches and rebates to broadcasters had a significant impact on the revenue clubs have been able to generate. 

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"The full financial impact of the pandemic on the Premier League will depend on the timing of the return of fans to stadia in significant numbers and the ability of clubs to maintain and develop their commercial relationships, in particular at a time when many other industries are suffering. 

"Matchday operations are a cornerstone of a club's business model and fans' absence will be more fully reflected in the financial results of the 2020/21 financial year. 

"Once fans are able to return in full, hopefully during the 2021/22 season, Premier League clubs have the potential to again return to record revenue levels." 

City’s strategic planning for the upcoming 2021/22 Premier League return has budgeted for Carrow Road at full capacity from August onwards. 

But on Monday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a delay to the full easing of lockdown until July 19 at the earliest. 

The government have also confirmed the knock out stages of the Euros, to be held at Wembley later this summer, will operate with ‘at least' 40,000 fans per game for the semi-finals and final. 

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