Barça and Covid cause losses in the League of 892 million in the last year

The Professional Football League (LFP) closed last year, corresponding to the 2020/2021 season, with revenues of 3,818 million euros, compared to the 5,045 million registered the previous year, almost 25% less. This sharp drop, as explained by the League, is due to both the break in the transfer of players and the lack of box office income due to the pandemic, taking into account that the matches were held behind closed doors.

The competition achieved a positive EBITDA of 154 million, which is 84% ​​less. Net losses stood at 892 million euros, compared to net profits of 52 million in the 2019/2020 season. These are the first negative results since the 2012/2013 season, although in this case almost 56% of these losses correspond, however, to just one club, FC Barcelona.

In fact, the azulgrana concentrate 58% of the losses at the EBIT level (net operating result) and 26% of the gross financial debt. But, of the total loss recorded by said entity, approximately 50% correspond to accounting conventions associated with the extraordinary clean-up of its balance sheet, with no immediate financial impact.

After the departure of former president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the arrival of Joan Laporta, the Catalan team closed last year with losses of 481 million euros. Faced with what happened to Barça, the saving measures adopted to compensate for the loss of income caused by the health crisis, Real Madrid, current champion of the competition, closed the 2020/21 financial year with a profit of 874,000 euros after of taxes, almost triple that of the previous year.

Debt up 18%

The net investments of the League rose to 300 million and the competition closed together with a net debt of 1,946 million, which is 18% more. The increase is equivalent to an increase of 236 million with respect to the previous year and supposes raise the leverage of the LFP to the highest level in history with a debt/ebitda ratio of more than twelve times The net worth of the League also stood at 1,192 million. According to the economic-financial report corresponding to the 2020/2021 season presented by the League, salary costs were reduced by only 1.1%, to 2,422 million euros , despite the crisis situation due to the pandemic.

Forecasts for this year

The forecasts of the League point to a recovery this season, which would allow reach a level of income of 4,012 million euros, therefore still far from pre-pandemic levels, and close the fiscal year with a positive EBITDA of 432 million. However, the competition would maintain the red numbers and would close the year with net losses of 297 millionmaintaining a very similar net financial debt.

The level of income prior to Covid will begin to recover, predictably, according to the League, from next season, once the movement of buying and selling players recovers. Until the 2023/2024 season, the 5,000 million that had been billed until two years ago will not be recovered.

La Liga highlights that, in any case, the drop in revenue is for “an amount substantially lower than that forecast by PwC for LaLiga (COVID forecast report for January 2021) and a softer reduction in relative terms than that experienced by the set of European professional football”.

According to UEFA, the decrease in ordinary turnover has amounted to 7,000 million euros in the two seasons with COVID. Including revenue from player transfers, the erosion of total income in the whole of European professional football amounts to more than 10,000 million.

Agreement with CVC

Last December, the Extraordinary General Assembly of LaLiga approved the agreement with the British investment fund CVC Capital Partners, by which it was agreed to inject 1,994 million euros in exchange for 9% of the audiovisual rights for 50 years.

In exchange for this money, the clubs must allocate 70% of the resources they receive within the framework of this project to operations linked to their development both in infrastructure and in technological innovation, being able to have up to an additional 15% for the registration of players. and the other 15% for the restructuring of its financial debt.

Óscar Mayo (LaLiga): The football clubs are healthy and there will be IPOs in the medium term