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07-Apr-2020, 08:04 pm

'Coronavirus pandemic could cost clubs €1bn' - Tebas confirms talks over May return for La Liga

Javier Tebas La Liga President

La Liga president Javier Tebas has predicted that clubs could miss out on EUR1 billion (?882m/$1.1bn) worth of revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic, while stating talks are being held over resuming the season as early as May 28.

Spain is currently in a state of emergency amid the ongoing battle to contain the spread of Covid-19, and football across all levels has been on hiatus for almost a month.

Government officials are due to lift lockdown measures on April 26, but no date has been set for sporting events to restart, with social distancing rules still likely to be enforced for at least a few more months.

La Liga clubs have been hit hard financially by the enforced break, with broadcasting deals and sponsorship agreements now up in the air and no form of matchday income to fall back on.

Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have both reached agreements with their respective squads to cut wages by 70 per cent and the remaining sides in the Spanish top-flight are expected to follow suit.

Even if the season does recommence next month, La Liga officials will still recommend a 15-day practice period before players get back out on the pitch, which means a significant loss of funds will continue for some time yet.

Tebas has now revealed exactly how much of a financial impact the coronavirus could end up having on La Liga, insisting EUR150 million (?132m/$164m) of damage has already been caused.

The 57-year-old said during an international media video call on Tuesday: "If we are looking at the economic impact, including the money we would get from European competitions, the revenue Spanish clubs would miss out on if we don't get back playing again is EUR1bn.

"If we do get playing but without spectators, it would be EUR300m (?264m/$328m).

"Even if we get back to playing with spectators, the damage this situation has already caused would be EUR150m."

Tebas went on to reveal that discussions over firm return dates for La Liga are ongoing, with it possible that supporters may have to wait until at least the end of June to see their teams play again.

He added: "Of all the different scenarios we have been looking at with UEFA to go back to competing, the most probable ones are 28 May, 6 June or 28 June.

"We can't say an exact date. This will be given to us by the authorities in Spain. But we still have time to get back to training before that."

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