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Downturn in revenue: Economic figures of the 2020-21 Bundesliga season released

Logos of the Bundesliga. Bundesliga 2 and Deutsche Fußball-Liga (DFL)

After the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, which were greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the downturn in revenue in German professional football already totals more than one billion euros. The total revenue of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 fell to €4.05 billion in the 2020-21 season.

As most matches were played behind closed doors, the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2’s match revenue alone – which mainly comprises ticket sales – fell by around 95 per cent compared with the last pre-pandemic season: from roughly €650 million in 2018-19 to only €35.5 million last season. This can be seen in the 2022 DFL Economic Report published this Friday. The report presents the cumulative key economic indicators for the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 for the 2020-21 season.

German professional football remains a major taxpayer. Last season, the 36 clubs paid €1.3 billion in taxes and duties to the financial authorities and social security institutions (2019-20: €1.4 billion). However, 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 per cent to 26,183 (2019-20: 52,786). The number of indirect employees, who usually work mainly in the stadium on matchdays (in security or catering, for example), decreased by around 80 per cent alone.

“Over the past two years, the pandemic has already had a dramatic economic impact on the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. Sadly, it is also affecting the current season – primarily because, once again, the stands often had to remain empty,” says Donata Hopfen, Speaker of the DFL Executive Committee. 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,” says Donata Hopfen. “Without a doubt, this will massively impact our development in the years to come. Nevertheless, considerable challenges always come with considerable opportunities. 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.”

The 2022 DFL Economic Report can be downloaded here:
2022 DFL Economic Report