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COVID-19: Germany’s top 36 clubs lost more than 1bn euros in revenue



The Bundesliga will this weekend see its biggest attendance since the start of the coronavirus pandemic two years ago.

This will be much to the relief of clubs who have lost more than one billion euros (1.1 billion dollars) in revenue in the process.

The figure was given on Friday amid eased coronavirus restrictions in the latest financial report by the German Football League (DFL) for the 36 top-flight and second division clubs.

The DFL said that match revenue alone dropped by some 95 percent from 650 million euros in the last pre-pandemic season 2018/2019 to 35.5 million euros in 2020/2021.

This was because almost all matches were played behind closed doors.

Overall revenue of the clubs dropped to 4.05 billion euros in 2020/2021, the DFL said.

“We are facing an unprecedented situation. The era of growth as something to be taken for granted seems to be over,” DFL chief Donata Hopfen said.

“Without a doubt, this will massively impact our development in the years to come.

“Nevertheless, considerable challenges always come with considerable opportunities.

“We must explore new avenues to make the German professional football future-proof while upholding our traditions and values. We will take on these topics together with all the clubs.”

Income from domestic and international media rights sales will be below previous figures in the 2021/2022 season.

It is not clear yet what kind of economic impact Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions will have.

The pandemic has had a heavy impact even on financially healthy clubs, such as Eintracht Frankfurt.

“We were full of economic strength. Now we will have operation losses of more than 70 million euros over three seasons until June 30, 2022,” the club’s supervisory board spokesman Axel Hellmann said.

Borussia Dortmund Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Hans-Joachim Watzke also said owing to the pandemic “we have lost so many millions, more than 120 (million euros) in all.”

The club have been able to sell out their stadium with 81,365 fans on Saturday against RB Leipzig, their first full house since Feb. 29, 2020, just before the pandemic hit.

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