COVID-19 pandemic has plunged sports bodies into severe financial losses, leading job redundancies and multi-million dollar borrowings. England’s Football Federation too despite announcing 124 job layoffs is finding it hard to overcome financial impacts of novel coronavirus.
After announcing 124 redundancies, around 15% of the total staff strength, the FA is reportedly aiming to raise up to £200 million loans from different sources, including a significant sum from the Government.
The federation is fearing its financial deficit might run up to £300 million if spectators are not allowed during games at the Wembley stadium for long time to come. The FA, according to the Daily Mail, has registered with Government’s COVID corporate finance facility lending scheme. This will enable them to take out a loan from the Bank of England at an interest rate of 0.5 per cent, a significantly lower rate than those available commercially.
The FA other than the cancelled internationals, NFL matches and concerts is also facing £35 mn annual deficit in its hospitality business on account of spectators’ absence during matches due to the strict measures in place to minimise the threat of COVID-19 pandemic.
“It might seem that football has weathered the storm by getting the top flight men’s game playing again,” Sportsmail has reported FA chief executive Mark Bullingham as saying. “However, unfortunately the past few months have impacted the FA severely and we have lost a significant amount of money that we can never recoup.
“We also anticipate that many of our future revenue streams will be affected for a considerable time.”