The coronavirus pandemic could cost the Premier League “at least £1billion” (10,000 crore) , the competition’s chief executive Richard Masters has warned. Masters said the cost could be considerably higher than that if the impact of the pandemic extends further into the future. His comments on the state of top-flight football’s finances were laid out in a letter to Julian Knight, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee.
Knight had called for a windfall tax to be imposed on Premier League clubs if they utilised the Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme to furlough non-playing staff without negotiating a pay cut or deferral for players. Premier League clubs are in talks with players to take up to a 30% cut made up of conditional reductions and deferral of salary.
Masters said: “We face a £1billion loss, at least, if we fail to complete season 2019-20, and further losses going forward if the seriousness of the pandemic deepens and extends into the future.” Professional football in England is suspended indefinitely, with a return date being kept under constant review.
On the other hand chairman of England’s Football Association, Greg Clarke, has warned that clubs across the country could vanish as their finances collapse under the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Clubs and the players union, the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), have been unable so far to reach an agreement on wage cuts and deferrals to help clubs during the suspension of action.
“Football faces economic challenges beyond the wildest imagination of those who run it. The pandemic will be followed by its economic consequences, and all business sectors will suffer,” Clarke said in a speech to the FA Council.
“We face the danger of losing clubs and leagues as finances collapse. Many communities could lose the clubs at their heart with little chance of resurrection.
“In the face of this unprecedented adversity, all the stakeholders within the game from players, fans, clubs, owners and administrators need to step up and share the pain to keep the game alive,” he said