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A 2020–21 Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea.
A 2020–21 Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea.

One of my favourite sporting memories is watching live Fifa World Cup games in 2010. Nothing could match the exhilaration of game day, the trip to the stadium, the singing of the national anthems, the buzz of the vuvuzelas, the goals, the banter, the cheering. Or could it?

As Covid-19 hit, sport was one of the first industries to shutdown. To find out just how much this had changed the sports industry, I asked Brendon Fourie, co-founder and CFO of Four Nations Football Consulting, a management consulting firm based in Barcelona dedicated to helping sports clubs and associations navigate the murky waters of sports business.

“The unsustainable financial models at the majority of soccer clubs specifically were bound to fail. Total losses for all 20 clubs in the English Premier League were more than £1bn in 2020 compared to a loss of £442m in 2019. If this is the state of the financial game at the very top level, where broadcasting revenues make up most of these clubs’ revenues, then one can only imagine how tough 2020 was for sports clubs that rely almost solely on matchday revenue.”

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