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DFL revenues rise but still fall short of pre-pandemic levels

Featured image credit: Waldemar on Unsplash

Featured image credit: Waldemar on Unsplash

The German Football League (DFL) has announced that total revenue of clubs in the top two divisions increased to €4.48bn (£3.93bn/$4.89bn) during the 2021-22 season, with matchday revenue standing at €402m.

The total revenue figure increased for the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19 but still remained well below the record levels of pre-pandemic. The €4.48bn figure represents an increase of 10.5% compared to the 2020-21 campaign but is still less than the €4.8bn posted in 2018-19 – the last season unaffected by the pandemic.

Matchday revenue, which primarily covers income from ticket sales, was around €650m in 2018-19. Last season, the figure only reached €402m, as stands had to remain largely empty during the first two-thirds of the campaign before restrictions were scrapped in April 2022. Matchday revenue was only €35.5m in 2020-21 as the majority of matches were played behind closed doors.

The DFL said the fact that fans were gradually allowed to return to stadiums over the course of the 2021-22 campaign was reflected in the number of people directly and indirectly employed in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. The number increased significantly from 26,183 to 48,372, a rise of 85%.

In the Bundesliga, total revenue increased from €3.47bn to €3.61bn but still fell short of the €4.02bn figure posted in 2018-19. Matchday revenue for Bundesliga clubs totalled €276.4m – 7.7% of their total revenue.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, speaker of the DFL executive committee, said: “In the light of these figures, it is possible to talk about a slight economic recovery, but it is not time to give the all-clear just yet, because the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are still a long way off the pre-coronavirus level overall.

“The league and clubs are going to have to find ways of evolving and of maintaining the appeal of the competitions, as well as our international sporting and economic competitiveness whilst also protecting the unique characteristics of German football.”