Football UK

Premier League elite facing further cash blow as £519m UEFA TV bill confirmed


The Premier League clubs who featured in Europe are set to pay a huge TV bill as they continue to count the cost of the coronavirus.

European Club Association chairman Andrea Agnelli confirmed on Tuesday that the continent’s biggest sides and UEFA have agreed to pay back a total of £519million to its broadcast partners.

Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, both Manchester clubs and Wolves represented England in the Champions League and Europa League during the 2019-20 campaign.

Along with the rest of Europe’s elite, they will now pay a huge rebate to TV companies.

Agnelli spoke during the general meeting of the ECA and said that discussions over future changes to the format of European competitions would “need to stall” while clubs managed the economic fallout of the pandemic.

The Juventus president has previously called for alterations to the format for the competitions from 2024 – notably around how clubs qualify, aimed at giving Europe’s so-called ‘elite’ greater certainty around participation.

Andrea Agnelli, the ECA chairman

The European Leagues organisation insists domestic competitions should remain the only qualification route.

But Agnelli admits that European club football was is in “crisis management” mode and those conversations are now on the back burner.

He said: “We are looking at top revenue decrease of approximately €4billion in the next two years and according to FIFA, 90 per cent of those top-line losses will be borne by clubs.

“We have seen very important rebates to the principal broadcasters both at domestic level and at international level.

Man City were England’s best performing side in the Champions League

“We have seen a £330million rebate in the Premier League, we have seen a downturn in the Bundesliga domestic rights of about €200million, we are in the process of finalising the account with UEFA with a reduction of around €575million (£519m) for the international club competitions, and that is all money that is normally distributed.”

The figure that each side will pay individually will be a percentage of their total earnings from their respective campaigns.

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Agnelli also suggested that the transfer market could shrink substantially because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He continued: “There will be a 20-30 percent drop in operations. We will have to be very careful about how we manage this transition, as there is a collapse in revenues and economies.

“Some big clubs will suffer more significant losses than entire federations. We are halfway through a crisis and it is not over yet, we have to face it.

“As clubs we have to restart with dialogue, the crisis is profound for everyone. The crisis affects everyone, big and small.

“The hope is that a responsible reaction on the part of all, can lead us out of the crisis”.

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