No Real Deals This Summer

No Real Deals This Summer Photo: TT
No Real Deals This Summer

They are traditionally amongst the biggest spenders in football, so the news that Real Madrid are planning to make no signings this summer is an indication of the broader financial crisis facing football clubs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Four of the biggest football transfers of all time have involved the Spanish club, whilst their collection of expensively assembled foreign players in the first part of the 21st century became known globally as Los Galcticos.

But those days are over, for the time being at least, with the need for retrenchment firmly on the agenda.

The clubs finances have been hit very hard by the loss of various revenue streams, including match day revenues, and money from the broadcasters. And, if they have to play the whole of next season behind closed doors, then they could be facing further losses of up to 150 million (US $167 million), it has been anticipated.

And, whilst the first team has agreed to wage cuts of between 10% and 20% because of the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis, that is just a drop in the ocean compared to the lost income.

Now it has been reported in the local press that the word has gone out to any players hoping for a summer move to the Spanish capital to look for another club elsewhere, as there will be no signings this year.

And, if a club like Real Madrid find themselves in such straitened circumstances, then the implications for many other clubs are likely to be even grimmer.

A recent study by the accountancy giant KMPG has estimated that the five major leagues in Europe the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1 are facing a combined loss of up to 4 billion (US $4.44 billion) as a result of the crisis, with the situation in other leagues and division equally dire.

Already it has been described as an extinction-level event for many smaller clubs, with a risk that many will not be able to survive and will just go under. And, if that happens the effect on communities, where the local football club is an essential part of its fabric, could be devastating. Years of tradition and sense of belonging could be ended in a heartbeat, leaving just memories.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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