London (AFP) – The Premier League’s annual turnover dropped by nine per cent in the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, accounts for 2019/20 showed on Thursday.

The figures, which cover the period up until the end of July 2020, give a glimpse of the economic damage suffered by football as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Total turnover for the Premier League was £2.9 billion ($4 billion), down from the 2019 figure of £3.3 billion.

International broadcasting revenue brought in £1.35 billion, a decrease from the 2019 figure of £1.4 billion.

The Premier League’s strategic report noted underlying turnover had fallen by nine percent, which was “largely due to the rebates payable to broadcasters following a suspension of play during the season” because of the pandemic.

Football was paused between March and June 2020 before the Premier League season was completed with no fans in the stadiums.

During December 2020, the Premier League confirmed a £50 million Covid-19 financial support package for English Football League clubs.

The accounts revealed payments of government grants of £3.3 million but the Premier League stated it “did not place any employees on furlough” and also did not take any other “opt-in government support” offered in response to the pandemic.