The current pandemic has undoubtedly had a negative effect on football leagues across the world, but the impact is not the same in each country.
Tomislav Globan, from the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb, appeared on Croatian Radio-Television to discuss the impact of the pandemic on professional sports, with a special emphasis on Croatian football.
Teams which earn the largest percentage of club income from tickets and sales on the day of the match, such as those in the Scottish, Austrian or Dutch leagues, will suffer the most, says Globan. Next are the big leagues that have sold TV rights to domestic carriers around the world.
“In the Croatian league, the situation is drastically different, because these areas [ticket sales and TV rights] do not represent significant sources of revenue for clubs,” said Globan.
However, he added, Croatian clubs were in trouble because they earn the majority of their income through selling players on the international transfer market. And with the overall drop in football revenue around the world, the value of players is set to fall across the board.
Globan points out that the Croatian Football League (HNL) is by far the most dependent on income from player transfers among all the leagues in Europe. On average, transfer income for Croatian clubs represents 140% of their regular income. Next on the list is Serbia with 70% of their income earned through selling players.
“At the moment, the transfer market is expected to fall by around 25% due to the pandemic,” he said.
One positive result, says Globan, is that more focus will be placed on developing young Croatian talent, a long-term benefit for Croatian football as a whole.
Finally, Globan does not expect the fall in transfer prices to last forever, adding that the world’s richest clubs would soon be back to paying top dollar for the best players.
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