Barcelona have revealed that they missed out on £184m in revenue during the 2019/20 season, largely caused by the loss of fans due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Camp Nou has been closed to fans since the middle of March, and as of yet, no supporters have been allowed to return to any stadiums in Spain.
Missing out on ticket revenue was always expected to be a major concern for Barcelona, whose players agreed to a 70% wage cut to ensure non-playing staff would still be paid their full salaries during the shutdown.
In a statement on their official website, Barcelona wrote: “Barça closed the year with revenue of €855m (£775.8m), below the €1.047bn (£974m) set in the budget, which had forecast a profit of €11m (£10m).
“The final result was after-tax losses of €97m (£88m), largely as a result of lost revenue due to the effects of the pandemic.”
Barcelona are thought to be one of the worst-hit clubs when it comes to the size of their revenue loss, although obviously a lot of smaller sides on the brink of collapse would kill for an annual revenue of £776m.
The club, who were on track to set a record with their revenue before COVID-19 hit, go on to state that the only reason they managed to keep their losses as ‘low’ as they did was because of their determination to find a way to save money.
The pandemic accelerated desires to trim the club’s wage budget, and high earners like Luis Suárez, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitić were all let go for small transfer fees in an attempt to get them off the books.
Towards the end of deadline day, Barcelona allowed midfielder Rafinha to move to Paris Saint-Germain on an initial free transfer, with bonuses set to determine the final cost of the deal.