Belgium’s professional football teams have already lost half of their revenues in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and expect to be hit hard this season, the country’s Pro League said on Thursday.
“Comparison between March-September 2019 and the same period this year shows a loss of 275 million euros ($325.9 million) or around 50 percent” the Belgian top flight in a statement.
The league added that around 80 percent of these losses came between July and September, saying that clubs had lost almost all matchday income with stadiums closed for games, while their fixed costs remain in place.
These numbers refer to the 18 clubs in the Pro League and the three professional teams — Westerlo, Lommel and Royal Union Saint-Gilloise — who currently play in the second division, the league told AFP.
As well as empty stadiums, clubs have been hit by a crash in sponsorship revenues and a slump in the outgoing transfer of players.
Belgium has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with over 15,000 deaths and nearly 550,000 cases among a population of 11.5 million.
The country’s government has ordered a second lockdown that is expected to last until at least mid-December, with no professional sports events allowed to admit spectators.