Interview: Lenders willing to back clubs - but you'd probably have to change your business model

15 May 2020

debt
Photo: PA Images Blackburn Rovers top the list as the club in Europe with the highest average wages-to-revenue ratio based on the last three annual reports. It stands at 158 per cent. Pictured is Blackburn Rovers' Darragh Lenihan (centre) celebrating scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match at Ewood Park, Blackburn against Hull City on the 11th of February earlier this year.

Clubs all over Europe are talking to financial institutions about their needs for liquidity in the current market. But talks will be fruitless if clubs don't show a serious commitment to change.

Future transfer income could be seen as a credible, even major part of a club's business, but forget all about promotion as part of the budget, says a former Fitch Ratings managing director.

Financial institutions can't provide funding if essential branches of clubs' revenue streams are unreliable. Therefore, leagues are in a hurry to decide on a post-coronavirus strategy, one which will see broadcasting income guaranteed.

Kasper Kronenberg kk@offthepitch.com

Football leaders might feel that they are at the centre of an extremely challenging business. And who could blame them if they feel things are pretty tough at the moment? There are no matches being played, which has seen matchday income grinding to a halt, and commercial and broadcasting revenues have also been severely hit by the current COVID-19 lockdown.

Now, imagine that you are the CEO of an airport. You probably can't find an industry harder hit than air travel, and you might want to re-think just how tough your real job really is.

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