BERLIN (Reuters) - Football will see a drop in transfer fees and salaries following the COVID-19 pandemic and the sport needs to adapt to a new reality, said Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
His team last week secured their eighth successive league crown and despite still fighting for a treble of titles, Bayern should expected their annual turnover of more than 700 million euros ($790.44 million) to drop by about 50 million due to the pandemic, Rummenigge said.
The Bundesliga was suspended for more than two months in March following the spread of the virus across the globe, restarting without fans in May as clubs’ revenues continued to drop.
“Football must try to become a bit more rational in order to be better prepared for future crisis,” Rummenigge told Handeslblatt newspaper on Tuesday.
“In the past decade football, with higher-faster-longer when it came to transfer fees and player salaries, went a considerable way beyond its target. We delivered a breath-taking competition for transfers that cannot be called rational any more.”
While Bayern had traditionally avoided paying high prices for players, they also joined the big spenders last year, forking out a league record 80 million euros for defender Lucas Hernandez, who spent much of the season injured.
There will also be less money available from broadcasters in the coming years, with the German Football League announcing on Monday domestic rights deals worth 4.4 billion from the 2021-22 season for four years.
It is less lucrative than the existing four-year deal that ends next season and is worth 4.6 billion euros.
In the coming season fans should not expect any big spending as clubs undergo cost-cutting operations, Rummenigge said.
“The transfer market has changed. There is not a lot of liquidity around and so there is a lack of demand. But there is no lack of supply for players eager to transfer,” he said.
“That will create adjustments to the prices, and the salaries are also hardly going to go up and that is the case for top players as well. Many top European clubs have announced intentions to decrease their payroll. We will also be treating this more carefully.”
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Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Christian Radnedge