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Reds Set to Face TV Rebate Bill

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Among other European giants, Liverpool could face an unexpected expenditure as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hertha BSC v FC Liverpool - Preseason Friendly Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Hey, remember when all of Liverpool’s rivals — well, the teams within 30 points of them in the table, anyway — blew loads and loads of cash early in the transfer window and Liverpool decided to not do that among concerns surrounding the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and they missed out on Timo Werner and we all had a great big moan about it? It was a whole thing.

Now, while there are valid reasons the Reds might not have the spending power one would expect from the reigning Premier League champions in any event — a massive wage bill and a refusal to take up further loans among them — it appears those pandemic related consequences are also beginning to rear their heads.

According to European Club Association chairman Andrea Agnelli, European giants across the continent, along with UEFA, have agreed to pay back a total of £519 million to its broadcast partners as a result of lost revenue due to games not being played and thus, not boradcast.

“We are looking at top revenue decrease of approximately €4 billion in the next two years and according to FIFA, 90 per cent of those top-line losses will be borne by clubs.

“We have seen very important rebates to the principal broadcasters both at domestic level and at international level,” said Agnelli.

“We have seen a £330 million rebate in the Premier League, we have seen a downturn in the Bundesliga domestic rights of about €200million, we are in the process of finalising the account with UEFA with a reduction of around €575 million (£519m) for the international club competitions, and that is all money that is normally distributed.

“There will be a 20-30 percent drop in operations,” the chairman continued. We will have to be very careful about how we manage this transition, as there is a collapse in revenues and economies.

“Some big clubs will suffer more significant losses than entire federations. We are halfway through a crisis and it is not over yet, we have to face it. As clubs we have to restart with dialogue, the crisis is profound for everyone. The crisis affects everyone, big and small.

“The hope is that a responsible reaction on the part of all, can lead us out of the crisis.”

While the numbers in question are absolutely staggering, it is still unclear exactly how much will come out of the Reds’ coffers in the end. What is absolutely certain, however, is that the finances of all the top clubs — particularly when one considers the indefinite drop in matchday revenue on top of it — will be taking a significant hit this season, and that, just maybe, Liverpool’s cautious approach could turn out to be the appropriate one in the long run.