Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur could suffer an ‘irrecoverable loss of income’ if supporters do not return to stadiums any time soon, Chairman Daniel Levy has suggested.
It was reported yesterday that top flight clubs might not allow fans back into venues after voicing concerns about the effectiveness of the measures put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Spurs have recorded a £63.9 million loss for the year ending 30 June, in comparison to the £68.6 million profit posted for the previous year.
A number of factors contributed to the shortfall, including an increase in operational costs, a decrease in matchday revenues and a lack of Champions League receipts.
“We are currently in the midst of one of the most challenging times ever experienced,” Levy explained.
“The impact of the pandemic on our revenue is material and could not have come at a worse time, having just completed a £1.2 billion stadium build which is financed by club resources and long-term debt.
“The 2020/21 season has so far seen no fans at games and this is compounded by a loss of third party events such as NFL, concerts, the closure of stores and visitor attractions.
“Our estimate for the current financial year of the potential loss of revenue, should the stadium remain closed to fans, is in excess of £150 million. Clearly this would be an irrecoverable loss of income.”
After the club left White Hart Lane, Spurs saw a £17.7 million increase in catering receipts, which was put down to the club’s move to Wembley Stadium, whilst their new ground was under construction in the interim.
Levy continued: “We have spent the past months preparing our stadium, testing our digital ticketing process and registering ID validation for fans.
“Premier League clubs are entirely capable, similar to the experience in several other countries, of responsibly delivering outdoor events with social distancing, exemplary hygiene standards, qualified stewards, testing capabilities and diverse travel plans, operating in some of the most technologically advanced venues in the world.
“We recognise that health and safety are paramount and we have been encouraged by the latest news on vaccine developments and potential Clinical Passports.”
The government announced that sporting venues would reopen to the public with grounds operating at limited capacity, but it remains to be seen whether the Premier League will take up the offer to welcome supporters back by 2 December.