Revealed: How coronavirus break could affect Stoke City financially


Stoke City and their Championship rivals could lose, on average, £865,000 in matchday revenue during April alone, according to a report by University Campus of Football Business (UCFB) academic Chris Winn.

Football is currently on a break to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, pausing all football games until at least April 30.

But that date looks set to be pushed back with three months of lockdown predicted in the UK and a further three months of social distancing measures.

During that time, clubs will not be able to host supporters inside their stadiums, robbing them of their main source of income.

The Potters will be no different, with recent reports predicting a behind-closed-doors end to the campaign that would seriously impact the club’s finances.

A general view of the bet365 Stadium, home of Stoke City FC.

The EFL have already moved to help clubs by way of a ‘£50m relief-package’ that saw Stoke received an £800,000 share of the pie.

But that will last less than four games, predicts Winn, who has calculated that, on average, clubs will lose more than that sum by missing out on just four home games.

Winn told OffThePitch: “The relief package from the EFL, though gratefully received by each club and much needed, is only going to last so long.

“If clubs’ outgoings continue to be the same and the suspension extends into May or games are played on a behind-closed-doors basis, then wider gaps in funding may develop.”

General view inside the stadium

On average, Championship clubs will spend £7m on wages between now and the end of May – a colossal amount.

“At what is a critical period for all businesses big and small, the measures provided by both the EFL and wider government will hopefully mean that by the time football returns, all our clubs are still operational,” Winn continued.

“However, with EFL clubs historically being loss-making, and there being little sign of that changing, the present crisis may provide further evidence that this status quo, including the associated business models and revenue distribution mechanisms, needs to be addressed once business, and football, returns to normality.”





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