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Bundesliga revenue down amid pandemic but still third highest

German Bundesliga
German Bundesliga

dpa/GNA – Bundesliga clubs have seen their revenue drop by 217.5 million euros (258 million dollars) last season, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the German Football League (DFL) said on Tuesday.

Presenting its financial report for the 2019-20 season, the DFL said the 18 top flight clubs generated 3.8 billion euros, down 5.4 per cent from 4.02 billion euros in the previous campaign.

However, the figure is still the third-highest overall, following 2018-19 and 2017-18 (3.81 billion euros).

Revenue had risen 15 straight seasons, but with games played behind closed doors for the final nine of 34 match days, a drop was inevitable with ticket sales alone down 30 per cent to 363.5 million euros, the DFL said.

“No one was prepared for the coronavirus crisis and the extent to which it would affect all areas of life worldwide, and German professional football is no exception,” DFL boss Christian Seifert said.

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The DFL said because most of the current season is also being played without fans, “the impact will be even more pronounced.”

Seifert said last year that clubs could lose up to 2 billion euros in income, owing to the pandemic between 2020 and 2022.

He added Tuesday: “We already know that the pandemic will continue to have a significant impact on society as a whole in 2021. “It is clear that the massive ramifications of the pandemic will require all clubs to continue to act with financial discipline and foresight.”

The report said that only eight top flight clubs had a positive result after taxes last season, down from 14 in 2018-19, and that payroll costs remained the biggest expenditure at 1.44 billion euros, up 1 per cent from the previous season.

The DFL report also said that Bundesliga and second division clubs paid 1.4 billion euros in taxes and duties and that, almost 53,000 people were employed directly or indirectly in German professional football.