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COVID-19 cost Europe’s clubs €7bn -UEFA



The COVID-19 pandemic has left Europe’s clubs with a massive seven billion euro-crater in their bank accounts, a UEFA report concluded on Thursday.

The virus-disrupted past two seasons, with many games played to empty terraces, ended an uninterrupted rise in revenue over the previous 20 years.

With gate receipts decimated, sponsorship down and television rights receipts hit, clubs suffered a four billion euros hit in 2019-2020, and three billion in 2020-2021.

Lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the virus that has killed nearly 2 million in Europe and 5.69 million worldwide cut off the clubs’ financial lifeblood – the fans.

Ticket sales dived by 4.4bn euros, while the report forecast a 1.7bn drop in sponsorship, and 0.9bn reduction in television rights.

These figures correspond with the forecast losses contained in UEFA’s report in May 2021 which put at 7.2bn euros the loss for Europe’s 711 top flight sides.

The latest UEFA study includes the consolidated results of these same 711 clubs for the year 2020, as well as the anticipated financial statements of 95 major teams for the year 2021, particularly marked by games played behind closed doors.

These long months of empty stadiums have caused a drastic decrease in ticketing revenues, plummeting by 88 percent in 2021 compared to 2019.

– Sluggish transfer market -UEFA also analysed the impact of Covid on the transfer market.

“Revenues due to transfers decreased by 40 per cent during the summer 2020, January 2021 and summer 2021 transfer windows” compared to their original level, the European body pointed out.

European clubs spent 3.8 billion euros in the summer of 2021, compared to 6.5 billion in the summer transfer window of 2019.

But UEFA also stressed signs of recovery have been observed in recent months as “fans seem to have more appetite than ever to return to the stadium”.

It also noted a rebound in the January transfer window which closed on Monday with an estimated 950 million euros spent last month in Europe, according to UEFA.

A total down only 10 percent compared to the average winter transfer window between 2017 and 2019.

The activity of French Ligue 1 clubs on the market halved between the summer of 2019 and the summer of 2021, with a negative balance — 400 million euros spent against 372 million received.

Victims of the withdrawal of their broadcaster Mediapro, the starting point for a fall in their television revenues, Ligue 1 clubs have been among the hardest hit in Europe, with overall revenues down 29 percent since March 2020, compared with around 20 percent for England, Germany and Spain, and 26 percent for Italy.

Between 2019 and 2020, Paris Saint-Germain saw its income drop by 15 percent, to 560 million euros.

The Qatar-bankrolled French giants are among the Top 5 highest earners in Europe, behind Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester United.


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Kylian Mbappe snubs Real Madrid transfer to sign new PSG mega 3 year deal of £1m per week salary



World Cup winner and Paris Saint-Germain superstar, Kylian Mbappe has confirmed he will be signing a new contract at Parc des Princes just days after it seemed he will be joining Real Madrid.

Mbappe addressed the entirety of the Parc des Princes crowd before Paris Saint-Germain’s final home game of the Ligue 1 season against Metz on Saturday night, May 21.

The 23-year-old was handed the microphone to announce he has penned a new three-year deal with the French giants – putting an end to a move to Real Madrid. 

Real Madrid were extremely confident that they would boast the superstar within their ranks from this summer onwards once Mbappe’s original deal with PSG had expired. 

But a new bumper contract of about £1m weekly has seen the 23-year-old commit his future to the Parisians.

Addressing the crowd, Mbappe explained: “I am very happy to stay at PSG in France. I always said Paris is my home, I hope we continue to play football and win trophies together. Thanks for everything. I hope that I will continue to do what I prefer to with you all… and win titles together! Thanks a lot.”

PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi broke the news before introducing Mbappe to the crowd by declaring: “I’m proud to give you a beautiful news: Kylian Mbappé has signed until June 2025 with Paris Saint-Germain.”

Mbappe has enjoyed a stunning season individually, helping fire the club to a tenth Ligue 1 title with his phenomenal for in front of goal. The World Cup winner has the most goals and most assists of any player in the league with 25 and 17 to his name respectively in the division alone.

With his new contract, he now surpasses team mates Neymar and Lionel Messi as the highest earner in the club.

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Juventus give Arsenal three players in exchange deal for Giorgio Chiellini’s replacement



Juventus are so desperate to land defender, Gabriel Magalhaes this summer and will offer Arsenal three players, according to Corriere dello Sport.

The Old Lady have identified Gabriel as a possible successor to Giorgio Chiellini, who will leave Turin this summer, and are keen to reach a quick agreement with Arsenal.

It is understood that the three players Juventus will offer Arsenal to force the deal for their 24-year-old centre-back are Arthur Melo, Weston McKennie and Moise Kean.

The report added that Juventus sporting director Federico Cherubini has travelled to London for talks with Arsenal over a deal for Gabriel.

Juventus are in the market to replace Chiellini, who is leaving the Serie A giants this summer after 17 years.

However, it’s claimed that Arsenal are demanding at least £42.4million for Gabriel.

Gabriel joined the Gunners from Lille in a £27million deal in 2020.

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EPL: Man Utd warn Barcelona over De Jong transfer



Manchester United have made it clear to Barcelona, they will not meet their £70 million asking price for Frenkie De Jong, according to Daily Mail.

The Premier League side are keen on signing De Jong, as Paul Pogba is set to leave on a free transfer this summer.

The Barca midfielder has already been identified by incoming manager, Erik Ten Hag, as a potential option having already managed him at Ajax.

Barcelona are open to a deal, as they are also seeking funds to put together a deal for Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.

However, United have informed the LaLiga club that they do not want to spend a significant part of their summer budget on signing De Jong.

Barca are looking to recoup the £65 million they spent on signing the 25-year-old from Ajax in 2019.

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