UEFA to return N259 billion to broadcasters in light of COVID-19 pandemic

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Story from Kenneth AFOR, Lagos

The European Football Association (UEFA), Europe’s football governing body has said it will return about 575 million euros (N259 billion) to broadcasters due to non-utilisation of fees of the broadcast rights.

This was disclosed by European Club Association (ECA) chairman and president of Juventus, Andrea Agnelli on Tuesday during the ECA virtual assembly.

This, however, will dent the already financial crisis plagued on the association by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This action is premised on the unprecedented five months suspension of UEFA’s Champions League and Europa League matches across the region and as a result, broadcasters were unable to beam live matches of the two competitions.

“That is all money that is not going to be distributed.”

Neptune Prime learnt that in the contract, UEFA would have earned 3.25 billion euros in the past season, with 2.55 billion euros to be distributed among the participating clubs in both competitions.

It is, however, unclear whether the full 575 million euros would be withheld from the clubs or whether UEFA would also suffer losses.

Agnelli, therefore reiterated that European clubs would lose about four billion euros in the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 seasons because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added that the upcoming season was going to be “very, very challenging both on and off the pitch.”

The ECA chairman also suggested that talks about Champions League reform for the new cycle from 2024 be postponed until 2021.

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