Championship Analysis: Regulation seems the only path towards sustainability

2 September 2021

Stoke
Photo: Alamy Stoke City were the club in the Championship posting the biggest financial loss in 2019/20.

With 22 of the 24 clubs in the Championship from the 2019/20 season having published their accounts, we have taken a closer look at the initial impact of the pandemic on the biggest sub-top division in the world.

The accumulated loss before taxes was €512 million in 2019/20, with shareholder loans on the rise again. On top of that, the average wages-to-revenue ratio rose to 126 per cent.

Given a full season without spectators and a depleted transfer market, the annual accounts for 2020/21 could make terrifying reading.

Joseph Mailil, analyst jm@offthepitch.com

This time last year League One implemented a hard salary cap, and a similar solution was also discussed for the Championship. Looking at the accounts released for 2019/20, it is clear why such talks took place. 

Since about 2013, Championship clubs have been spending approximately as much as they earn on wages. The sudden fallout of income in the 2019/20 season due to the pandemic saw income fall by 14 per cent year-on-year, from €835 million in 2018/19 to €723 million. 

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