Football clubs can survive empty stadiums

Erasmus School of Economics

There is a lot of fear in the football world. Clubs would have to play without an audience for months next season. If we had to believe the football clubs, this would be a disaster for the football world. According to Thomas Peeters, sports economist at Erasmus School of Economics, football clubs can easily survive this period, as long as they take a sensible approach.

Considerable cut in paychecks

Peeters understands that having to play without a public is very bitter for the clubs. However, clubs should not pretend that this will be the end for them. ‘We know that clubs generate approximately 20 to 25% of their total turnover from stadium revenues. That's a considerable amount, but it's not insurmountable. I think the clubs can easily survive without that 20 to 25% of stadium revenue, provided that they cut a considerable amount from their players' paychecks.'

Lack of solidarity

The player's wage costs quickly comprise more than half of a club's total budget. It is therefore wise to renegotiate the players' contracts. According to Peeters, the renegotiations will probably run more smoothly at the moment because players don't really have any other options. One problem, however, is the lacking solidarity between the clubs and the players. 'Most players only think about themselves and their own paycheck and do not think about the newcomers who have just climbed up from the youth series,' says Peeters.

More information

The full item from Sporza, 9 May 2020, can be found here (in Dutch).