French football clubs are in a serious economic situation due to the pandemic, with operating losses of 1,400 million euros last season, which raises concerns about bankruptcies of entities, the person responsible for financial control of this company tells L'Equipe sport.
These losses are in addition to the red numbers of 1,200 million of the previous campaign, adds Jean-Marc Mickeler, president of the National Directorate of Management Control, in an interview published today by the sports newspaper. These losses are broken down mainly in television rights (400 million) and transfers (300 million), in addition to subscriptions and tickets and sponsorships, he details.
The result is that the teams have an accumulated debt that exceeds one billion euros, more than double that of two years ago, adds Mickelar, who warns that "the worst is yet to come." He warns that if the 330 million agreed with Canal + for the retransmission of two games per day did not arrive (there are problems with the payment channel) and the fall in equity continues, "bankruptcies cannot be excluded."
He explains that there are shareholders who have reached "the end of their ability to plug the economic holes" of the clubs. From the bankruptcy, a historic French football player, Girondins de Bordeaux, has been saved for the time being, after the agreement for the takeover by the previous owner of Lille, businessman Gérard Lopez. However, the DGCC president stresses that Bordeaux, and most other football clubs in the country, must undergo major surgery to transform their business model.
"The teams must reduce their salary mass," he says, and recalls that seven first division teams have more than 40 players under contract, something that "does not make sense." French teams have traditionally turned to transfers to balance their scores, but the pandemic has left teams in other major leagues with far less money to invest in transfers.