Real generate biggest income among European elite in COVID-hit season

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Group A - Real Madrid v Galatasaray - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - November 6, 2019 General view of Real Madrid flags inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Susana Vera

(Reuters) - La Liga champions Real Madrid recorded overall income of 681.2 million euros ($832 million) in the 2019-20 season despite an 8% drop in revenue, a study from auditing firm KPMG revealed on Sunday.

The Spanish champions' revenues was the highest among the teams that won domestic titles in Europe's six major leagues. Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich recorded 607.2 million euros, followed by Premier League winners Liverpool (557 million euros) and Ligue 1's Paris St Germain (540.6 million euros).

KPMG's study also included Serie A's Juventus, whose revenue totalled 401.4 million euros and Portuguese Primeira Liga victors Porto who had the lowest revenue of the six champions at 87.3 million euros.

The study said all six European domestic champions suffered a decrease in operating revenues due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A crisis almost always provides the opportunity to highlight major failings in the business model and also to drive innovation and evolution," KPMG's global head of sports and the study's author Andrea Sartori said.

"So it is encouraging to see football's governing bodies, associations and clubs discussing reforms regarding competitions calendar, cost control measures, alterations to the economics and governance of domestic and European competitions."

With matches cancelled or played behind closed doors from March 2020 onwards, all European champions barring Porto suffered the biggest blow through loss of matchday income, with Real being the hardest hit with 34.9 million euros of losses.

Broadcasting income also reduced for all six champions, with Champions League performances playing a role.

Last season's finalists Bayern and PSG both registered a 4% decrease in their TV income, while Porto suffered a 63% drop, mainly due to their failure to qualify for the competition.

However, Liverpool (14%), Bayern (4%) and Real (2%) increased their commercial income - the only examples of revenue growth found in the study.

Only German champions Bayern (5.9 million euros) and La Liga's Real (300,000 euros) registered net profits in the 2019-20 season, unlike the 2018-19 campaign when all champions recorded profits.

PSG suffered the highest net loss at 125.8 million euros after Ligue 1 was the only top domestic European league that ended its season in April amid the COVID-19 crisis.

($1 = 0.8186 euros)

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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