Real Madrid may have won a pair of crucial matches in the past few days, but they are big losers when one looks at the financial aspect of those matches. The club lost somewhere in the vicinity of 15 million euros for being unable to sell tickets for the matches they hosted against Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona.
Both matches were played behind closed doors thanks to the ongoing devastation brought by the novel coronavirus pandemic. The first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals against Liverpool was played last Tuesday at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.
Less than a week later, Real Madrid hosted "El Clasico" against FC Barcelona. The clash between the bitter rivals is one of the most watched sporting events around the world.
Los Blancos won the Champions League match against Liverpool 3-1, but under normal circumstances, they would have raked in somewhere around 10 million euros in ticket sales on that evening. Meanwhile, Saturday's 2-1 victory against the Catalans would have earned Real Madrid around half of that amount.
Due to the pandemic, audiences are not allowed inside the stadiums. Ticket revenue has completely dried up and Real Madrid is also spending a lot of money to renovate the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. On the upside, they have decided to operate from the Di Stefano stadium this season in order to speed up the renovations. That's a small consolation, as the early completion will also mean that they can get a return on investment much faster. However, the revenues won't come if audiences are kept out of the stands for much longer.
Real Madrid is still a financially stable club of course, but the pandemic is really taking a toll even on the world's richest clubs. Most clubs have already implemented pay cuts and jobs have been lost. It remains to be seen how clubs can effectively bounce back once the pandemic is over. For now, everyone needs to tighten their belts.