Stoke City set to miss out on £6m in season without fans


Stoke City will have lost more than £6m this season due to the pandemic keeping fans out of grounds.

Boris Johnson announced the road map out of lockdown on Monday, with fans earmarked to return to grounds on May 17. That’s just in time for the last round of Premier League matches, and the EFL playoffs.

For at least half the clubs in the top flight then – and as near as makes no difference for the other half – 2020/21 has been an entire season without match day income.

That will result in a combined loss of £693.7m for current Premier League clubs, according to their 2018/19 accounts which are the latest available from when fans could attend all matches.

It’s also a £112.8m loss for clubs currently in the Championship – a combined total of £806.5m lost in gate receipts by clubs in the top two divisions of English football.

Stoke earned £6.4m in matchday income the last time they were allowed fans in the ground for a whole season.

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Only five clubs currently in the Championship brought in more through the turnstiles – Norwich City with £9.7m, Watford with £9.2m, Cardiff with £7.9m, Nottingham Forest with £7.6m and Swansea with £7m.

Premier League sides have huge amounts of broadcast income to soften the blow though, unlike Championship sides.

Matchday income makes up large proportions of turnover at some clubs in the second tier of English football.

Luton’s matchday income in 2018/19 made up 67 per cent of their turnover.

For Barnsley it was 47 per cent, for Millwall 31, Nottingham Forest 30, Norwich 29, Sheffield United 28, and Preston North End 26.

Stoke have played two games in front of supporters this season, both while the country was operating a tier system in December.

A 1-0 win away at Wycombe was watched by a 1,000 strong crowd and a 0-0 draw at QPR had an attendance of 2,000.





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