The pandemic has knocked €6.1 billion off the value of Europe's leading 32 clubs, according to the latest annual football club valuation report from the KPMG Football Benchmark team.
It is the first time in the six years of the report that the aggregate values of the top 32 clubs have decreased, from €33.6 billion to €27.5 billion, a drop of 15%.
According to KPMG's The European Elite 2021 report, Real Madrid are the most valuable European football club for third consecutive year. The club is valued at €2,909 million and lies above Barcelona (€2,869m) and Manchester United (€2,661m) in the ranking.
Paris Saint-Germain moved up to the 8thposition, overtaking Tottenham Hotspur, while Juventus returned to the top 10, replacing Arsenal, who have lost six positions since the first, 2016 edition of our ranking.
Atalanta, Marseille and Fenerbahçe are new to the top 32, while West Ham United, Athletic Club Bilbao and Beşiktaş have dropped out.
Perhaps most concerning for the health of the financial health of the big clubs is that only seven of the top 32 clubs reported a net profit, compared to 20 profitable clubs a year before, reports KPMG.
KPMG also highlights the increasing divergence in values between the clubs in the top 10 compared to the other 22 clubs valued and pointing out that in "the past season the top 10 clubs' operating revenues accounted for almost 60% of the total income of all 32 clubs, while they accounted for only a third of the aggregate net loss."
They might not be getting bigger, but they are still of a dominating size, and that isn't changing.
"In each of the six years under scrutiny, the top 10 clubs have performed better than the other 22 clubs combined when considering total operating revenues, staff costs-to-revenue ratio and net result," says the report.
KPMG highlights that the value of all clubs has dropped in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and that the losses suffered in the last financial year amount to an average of 15%.
The report explains that Real Madrid's hold on the top spot is driven by the club's on-pitch success and the commercial development achieved over the past years. The report also notes that the club will benefit from additional revenues coming from the new Santiago Bernabéu.
KPMG also says that player values will be impacted with the aggregate market value of the 500 most valuable football players having decreased by 10% between February 2020 and April 2021.
"Eighty clubs including all European football giants, that have made public their financial results so far, recorded an aggregate net loss of €2.04 billion: this means that this sample of approximately 10% of the roughly 700 Uefa first division clubs have already racked up more losses in the 2019/20 season than the previous overall negative record of €1.7 billion in losses registered in 2010/11, prior to the introduction of Uefa Financial Fair Play," says KPMG.