With the COVID-19 pandemic taking over the world, sport has not been a priority for many, and rightfully so. With thousands of lives lost and many more at stake, athletics have had to be put on the backburner; all major sporting events have been cancelled for the foreseeable future including, perhaps, the Olympics. The current pandemic is going to have effects that are not fathomable to most of us, and football will be no exception.
Most people have not looked to pause and think as to what this may mean for the game as we know it, but it is worth taking a moment and doing so. With the current crisis, there is already a severe demand and supply shock, around the world, with economies being on voluntary shut-down. For football teams, revenue streams have dried up quickly. As per Deloitte’s Football Money League rankings, 44% of revenue (for the top 20 clubs) comes from broadcasting, while 40% comes from commercial deals and 16% from matchday revenue. With no football for the foreseeable future, 60% of total (monthly) revenue is gone. Poof.
For Barça, who topped Deloitte’s list with an annual revenue of €841 million, this is troubling in a number of ways. Although the club goes from strength to strength every year, in terms of its total revenue, its financial standing still remains dubious. And there’s more. Commercial revenue may take a hit too. While Barça’s chief sponsor Rakuten (e-tailer) may come out unscathed, others such as Beko, Caixa Bank, Nike, Estrella, Cupra and Oppo will not. Many of them are facing months of scarce demand and an equally compromised supply chain. With mass layoffs and fat-trimming inevitable, you can expect advertising revenue to be scaled back first.