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Manchester United to suffer most in Premier League’s £900m matchday losses

Manchester United has been projected to lose £139.39m in match day revenues, and is the Premier League club with the most to lose due to the UK Government halting plans for the return of fans to sports stadiums.

Data from financial analysts Vysyble estimates that the overall projected loss across the Premier League from lost ticket sales, hospitality and food and beverage sales will be £911.66m after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed this week that spectators will not return, as planned, in October.

Arsenal’s estimated loss of £122.27m makes it the Premier League club that is proportionately most impacted as they obtain significantly less income than Manchester United from commercial revenue streams. According to Arsenal’s most recent accounts for 2018-19, matchday income amounted to almost a quarter of all revenue.

The Emirates Stadium in London has a capacity of 60,704, while Old Trafford in Manchester, the largest stadium in club football in the UK, can host up to 76,000.

The remaining top five biggest losers from COVID-19’s restrictions include Tottenham Hotspur with £106.55m, Liverpool with £105.04m and Chelsea with £81.52m. Manchester City is predicted to lose £73.98m, while the next highest loss goes to West Ham United with a steep fall to £37.03m.

Vysyble extracted its data by calculating expected revenues in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons according to the published 2018-19 balance sheets. They then factored in the number of games already played by each club prior to lockdown during the 2019-20 season, average attendances and how clubs were progressing so far this season in cup competitions.

Meanwhile in the second-tier Championship, which is more reliant on its matchday revenues than the Premier League, averaging around 35 per cent of total income, will lose around £180m in total.

Sheffield Wednesday, whose Hillsborough ground has a capacity of almost 40,000, is estimated to be hit the hardest and will likely see losses reaching almost £23m.

This week the UK Government confirmed that the intention to allow 30 per cent of a venue’s capacity back on October 1 had been paused, along with the pilot events programme, which had been hosting test events with up to 1,000 spectators.

The Prime Minister also said restrictions are likely to remain in place for the next six months.