M&A activity in football largely on hold due to coronavirus, but advisors believe long-term outlook remains bright

23 March 2020

Saints owner
Photo: Getty Images Southampton owner Gao Jisheng in the stands during a Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton. According to various media he has put the club up for sale. But it is challenging times to get deals done.

Top sports M&A advisors see a commitment to get deals done but admit they will take longer to close.

A general slowdown in dealmaking is being mirrored in the football industry, with buyers playing a waiting game.

Football in strong position to rebound after the crisis, with valuations expected to continue to rise.

Jonathan Dyson dyson@offthepitch.com

Amid the growing concerns over the global economy resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity, as expected, is now experiencing a major downturn.

2020 had already seen a slow start to the year for dealmaking, not only due to worries over Covid-19 but also numerous geopolitical factors such as the US-China trade war.

January was the quietest month for takeovers since April 2013, according to the Financial Times, with US$164 billion worth of M&A completed globally – more than half that seen in January 2019.

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