The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) has revealed that the total revenue of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 fell to €4.05 billion in the 2020-21 season, which was greatly affected by COVID-19.

Furthermore, during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, the group also revealed that the downturn in revenue in German professional football already totals more than one billion euros. 

When most matches were played without fans, Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2’s revenue fell roughly 95% compared with the last pre-pandemic season: from around €650 million in 2018-19 to only €35.5 million last season. 

“Over the past two years, the pandemic has already had a dramatic economic impact on the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2,” commented Donata Hopfen, Speaker of the DFL Executive Committee. “Sadly, it is also affecting the current season – primarily because, once again, the stands often had to remain empty.

“In addition, there is the increasingly uncertain geopolitical situation and the fact that the revenue from the marketing of German-language media rights for the current 2021-22 season and the revenue from international marketing are lower than a year ago. “We are facing an unprecedented situation. 

“The era of growth as something to be taken for granted seems to be over. Without a doubt, this will massively impact our development in the years to come. Nevertheless, considerable challenges always come with considerable opportunities.”

Additionally, last season the 36 clubs paid €1.3 billion in taxes and duties to the financial authorities and social security institutions, and €1.4 billion in 2019-20. However, the league stated that the impact of the matches played behind closed doors is also evident in the number of people directly and indirectly employed in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, which has temporarily fallen by around 50%.

The number of indirect employees, who usually work mainly in the stadium on game days, also decreased by around 80%.

Hopfen concluded: “We must explore new avenues to make the German professional football future-proof while upholding our traditions and values. We will take on these topics together with all the clubs.”

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