We knew the second that fans wouldn’t be allowed into stadiums during the COVID-19 pandemic that Juventus’ bottom line was going to take a serious hit. Allianz Stadium is an absolute cash cow, and the loss of game day revenue was going to spell a grim report when the first half of the 2020-21 fiscal year came to an end.
On Thursday, we got that report.
Juventus announced a massive loss of €113.7 million, attributing pretty much all of it to the pandemic keeping fans out of the 10-year-old stadium. In a statement on the club website, Juventus said “the pandemic directly and significantly affected, above all, ticket sales and sales of products and licenses, with a consequent — and inevitable — negative impact on operating income, net income and financial debt.” As compared the previous season, Juventus’ losses jumped 126 percent, while revenue and income fell by nearly 20 percent.
Here is the first portion of Juventus’ press release that is available on the team’s website:
For a correct interpretation of the half-year figures, it should be noted that the financial year of Juventus does not coincide with the calendar year, but it runs from 1 July to 30 June, which corresponds to the football season. The economic trend is characterised by a strong seasonal nature, typical of the sector, largely determined by participation in European championships - in particular the UEFA Champions League - by the calendar of sports events and by the players’ Transfer Campaign.
It should also be noted that the first half of the 2020/2021 financial year (unlike the same period of the previous financial year) was heavily penalised - as were all companies in the sector - by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent restrictive measures imposed by the Authorities. The pandemic directly and significantly affected, above all, ticket sales and sales of products and licenses, with a consequent - and inevitable - negative impact on operating income, net income and financial debt. Moreover, as the pandemic persists, the current half-year shows higher revenues from radio and television rights due to the postponement from the previous year of certain matches for national and international competitions.
Therefore, the first half of the 2020/2021 financial year closed with a loss of € 113.7 million, compared to a loss of € 50.3 million in the first half of the previous financial year.
That’s ... rough.
We knew it would be bad.
But when you see the numbers actually there in front of you, then you understand why Juventus has done some of the things they’ve done — especially on the transfer market. Sometimes, the money just isn’t there. And when you’re posting a loss that is as significant as Juventus’ loss from the first half of the current fiscal year, it just provides little flexibility in terms of what you can actually do.
Who knows if the €113.7 million was what the club forecasted back when the pandemic began. Maybe they were expecting fans, in some kind of capacity, to be back in the stadium by now before the second wave of COVID-19 hit Italy in the fall and early winter. Since we’re on the outside, we really have no idea just to what kind of degree all of this was expected outside of there being a major loss because we’re now essentially a year into games being played while the stadiums are empty.
No matter what, though, when you see Juve posting a loss of €113.7 million, that makes you pause for second because that’s just something you don’t see unless something extremely significant takes place. And it’s safe to say a global pandemic falls into the “significant” category.