Between the positions “TV rights”, “ticketing” and “transfers”, Ligue 1 clubs will see their resources escape nearly 1.3 billion euros this season. At the end of January, the League (LFP) presented the clubs with a document showing losses of 500 million euros in terms of TV rights, ticketing revenues cut by 400 million euros and a drop in transfer income. between 300 and 400 million euros.
“These amounts are significant but are not surprising, judge Didier Primault, director of the Limoges Center for Sports Law and Economics (CDES). In the economic context linked to the pandemic, the transfer market is severely impacted and all other sources of revenue are affected. The TV rights were supposed to serve as the ultimate safeguard to the situation… ”
However, despite the 200 million euros released Wednesday by Canal + to deal with the most urgent until the end of the season, it is almost half of the expected sums that the clubs see fly away in favor of the Mediapro crisis – 650 million euros against 1.153 billion.
“It may even be that the situation is underestimated, continues Primault. Many uncertainties remain: when will the closed-door matches end? Will the sponsors continue to follow? So how are the clubs going to stay afloat? Are the most fragile threatened with bankruptcy?
“The outlook is very dark”
“The risk is real,” resumes Primault. The League has already borrowed money to meet the deadlines unpaid by Mediapro. Even if money comes in, these loans will have to be repaid. The outlook is very bleak, I wonder how long the clubs can hold out. However, they are not all affected at the same level because they do not all have exactly the same economic model. A banker who sees the arrival of OL, owner of his stadium, will not treat the latter like another club, which relies on its player assets and is very dependent on TV rights, as is the case with the most modest budgets … In some clubs, the shareholder (s) may also agree to put money into the current account, the first problem for an SME being a cash flow problem. “
PODCAST. TV rights of French football: story of the Mediapro fiasco
But for many clubs, it seems that salvation only comes through a reduction in wages, the payroll monopolizing on average 70% of income …
“Football could very well live with lower incomes than they were previously, but with significantly lower salaries,” said Primault. There has been some discussion but nothing spectacular so far. 20% or 30% here or there, but nothing to get the clubs out of their great difficulties. It is with wages reduced by 30% or 40% that we would arrive at a balanced industry. For contracts already signed, there is nothing to do. But at each offseason, the cards can be reshuffled as to the salaries offered. It would take three or four years to adjust expenditure to actual income at the time. I don’t know if it will end like this but if tomorrow the wages drop significantly, I don’t think the show would be of any lower quality. “
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr