Being able to finish the league championships has become the main goal of most European clubs, including Barça. Entities are facing a landscape in which you see more and more advocating to end the season and return to September with a new course. A possibility that Barça rejects on the front. “The season, as defended by UEFA, must end with being fair with the work done so far by the teams and especially to avoid a financial bump,” say the Barça executive, who believes that in case of to end the league, the Barça club could stop earning “more than € 250 million” on concepts such as television rights, tickets, official products, sponsors who want to review their cases, a possible return from the ‘subscription to members or tickets to the museum. These estimated losses include a scenario where the remaining Champions League matches were played but without fans. According to Josep Maria Bartomeu, a single top-flight Champions League match without people at the Camp Nou means a figure of between 6 and 8 million expected to go out.
Thebes calls for more ERTOs
“Clubs would lose more than 30% of their projected budget,” says economist José María Gay de Liébana, who envisions a possible future where some clubs could suffer to avoid economic bankruptcy. The Professional Football League, in fact, has urged its clubs to start a ERTO day reduction due to force majeure in order to better address the negative impact of covid-19. Some, like Barça and Espanyol, have already done so. “Measures must be taken against the severe economic crisis, in an exercise of responsibility necessary to preserve a sector that represents 1.37% of GDP and employing close to 185,000 people,” said the league’s statement. The body chaired by Javier Tebas explained that if the championship did not end, they could lose up to € 1 billion, a figure which would be reduced to a loss of € 300 million if the tournament ended but without spectators. According to Thebes, half of those losses would be borne by players cutting their pay, a proposal rejected by the Football Association (AFE). Next week, the AFE summoned all the First and Second Division captains to analyze the situation. In England, where the Premier reported that only “safe” play will be played again, the employer has proposed to cut the pay of all templates by 30%, which Thebes raises to 50% in Spain.
And all with the ghost of watching league clubs like the Belgian or the Netherlands prefer not to end the season. Yesterday, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin of Slovenia was very upset after discovering that the Belgian football league was proposing to end the season without a desire to resume as a result of covid-19. “This is not the way. Solidarity is not something that works in one direction. A league can’t ask for help and then make its own decisions, “he told the German television channel ZDF. “In addition, I must say that Belgians and others who are thinking about something similar will jeopardize their participation in European competitions next season,” he threatened.
On Wednesday UEFA met with the 55 European federations to agree on a schedule that would allow the League and the Champions League to end in June, July and August, if needed without spectators. “Soccer without spectators is not the same, but in any case, it is better to have football without an audience than anything else,” says Ceferin.