Football Business: Serie A CEO declares 573Mn loses due to Covid-19, ‘system on verge of collapse’

Football Business Serie A: Covid-19 has hit Italy’s top flight football league Serie A extremely hard. Serie A has lost more than $573 Mn in revenues due to the Covid-19, the head of Serie A said yesterday, warning the industry was in dire straits.

Not only the loses but the Chief Executive of Serie A has declared that the entire system is on the verge of collapse. 

To contain Covid-19 contagion, Italy’s government has rejected a proposal to allow more spectators at sporting events, including lifting the current limit of 1,000 spectators at Serie A football matches to fill a quarter of stadium capacity.

Serie A CEO say, ’the whole system is on verge of collapse’

“As of now, Serie A is experiencing a shortfall of more than €500 million ($573mn),” Serie A Chief Executive Luigi De Siervo told state television, blaming a lack of match-day revenue and a drop in sponsorship deals.

“The whole system is on the verge of collapse,” he added, calling on the government to consider gradually increasing the cap on football fans at matches.

Matchday revenues account for around 11 per cent of Serie A clubs’ €2.5 billion aggregated yearly revenues, whose bulk is made up by broadcasting right sales.But this source of income is also shrinking because broadcasters around the world respond to lower advertising revenues by cutting spending on media right deals.

In an effort to cushion the impact of the pandemic on debt-laden clubs, Serie A is considering selling a minority stake in a newly created company handling the League’s broadcasting rights for 10 seasons.

Two rival private equity consortia led by CVC Capital Partners and Bain Capital are vying for a 10 per cent stake.

Serie A expects to receive final offers for its media rights by October 2, two sources said yesterday, flagging an extension of a previous September 30 deadline.

The Serie A clubs are expected to meet on October 9 to review the bids, the sources added.

De Siervo had said earlier that the clubs would meet by October 10 at the latest to discuss the offers.