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Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham face huge challenge as distressing financial figures laid bare

The financial impact of coronavirus on football has been laid bare by a new report that indicates significant and “distressing” losses across all of Europe’s big leagues, with the importance of progressing in the Champions League put under increased focus.

Almost all revenue streams, not least matchday and broadcasting, have taken a hit as a result of the pandemic, with the accountancy firm KPMG stressing that it has highlighted “major failings in the business model” of clubs across the continent.

The report illustrates the importance of Champions League qualification and adds another layer of explanation as to why Arsenal’s brand value has plummeted by almost a quarter in three seasons, according to a separate independent survey released on New Year’s Eve.

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KPMG took a sample of 20 European clubs that have already published their financial results for 2019/20 and it showed an aggregate decrease of more than €1billion in total operating revenues, with a forecasted loss of €5billion across the big six leagues.

Among those 20 clubs were Tottenham Hotspur, who suffered a net loss of €150million with operating revenues falling by 12.3%. Only two, Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla, saw revenues increase with all but one club, Benfica, seeing

Chelsea released their financial results a fortnight ago and reported a profit of £32.5million despite revenue falling by more than £40million, largely thanks to the transfer fees for Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata. Those accounts, however, do not include a transfer spend of more than £200million from last summer.

Arsenal last week took out a special low-interest £150million loan from the Bank of England owing to the pandemic and are seeking to make significant cuts to their first-team wage bill. A number of off-field staff were made redundant last year.

“While recent pre-Covid-19 seasons…