Coronavirus pandemic set to cost Premier League clubs £1bn in 2019-20 - Deloitte

Premier League clubs face a £1bn reduction in their revenues in 2019-20 because of the coronavirus pandemic, says financial services firm Deloitte.

The 20 English top-flight clubs had a combined revenue of more than £5bn for the first time in 2018-19.

But this season has been on hold since March, and the 92 remaining matches will be held behind closed doors.

And Deloitte's Dan Jones expects "significant revenue reduction and operating losses" in European football.

Deloitte says £500m of the reduction for Premier League clubs - in rebates to broadcasters and a loss of matchday revenue - will be "permanently lost", with the remainder "deferred" until 2020-21 if this season and next are completed.

 

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Champions League: Lisbon favourite to stage last-eight mini-tournament

Lisbon is the favourite to host an eight-team Champions League knockout tournament in August, if it is given the go-ahead by governing body Uefa.

Uefa is planning to move the final from Istanbul, where it was due to be held on 30 May, for the new format.

The Europa League final, due to be held in Gdansk, Poland on 27 May, is likely to be moved to Germany.

Europe's continental cup competitions were stopped in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Uefa's executive committee will make its decision on 17 June.

 

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Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray among ATP & WTA stars in domestic events

With the professional tours on hold until at least August because of the coronavirus pandemic, the world's top players are looking for alternative ways to keep match sharp.

The future - in the short term at least - appears to be domestic and regional exhibition tournaments between players based in the same part of the world.

With fundraising, trash-talking and changeover chats with online fans, tennis is back with a twist.

Seven-time Grand Slam doubles champion Jamie Murray has organised a Battle of the Brits exhibition event  for the leading British men, with Andy Murray, Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund also taking part.

In the singles, the eight players will be split into two groups for round-robin matches, leading to semi-finals and the final.

 

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Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has 'no objection' to Anfield games

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has changed his opposition to Liverpool playing Premier League games at home and the derby taking place at Everton.

Anderson feared fans congregating outside Anfield and Goodison Park amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League is set to resume behind closed doors on 17 June, with venues for Liverpool's games at Everton and Manchester City to be decided.

"We are in a better place than we were four weeks ago," said Anderson.

"We've been able to convey why it's so important nobody congregates outside or near grounds."

 

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Rafael Nadal says tennis should 'wait a little bit more' before restarting

Rafael Nadal says tennis should set a positive example to the rest of society, and "wait a little bit" before resuming competition.

The 19-time Grand Slam champion does not think tournaments should restart until every single player is able to travel freely and safely.

No tour events will be staged until the end of July - at the very earliest.

And the Spaniard says he currently has little desire to travel to New York in August to defend his US Open title.

"If you asked me if I want to travel to New York today to play a tennis tournament, I will say no - I will not," Nadal, 34, told reporters at a time when the French Open should have been reaching a climax.

 

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Premier League: Clubs to meet to discuss premature finish options

Premier League clubs will have their most thorough discussion to date about what should happen if the season is curtailed at their latest meeting on Thursday.

All clubs will be given a say in a detailed debate over how to finalise the league table if the season cannot be completed, though it is widely expected that relegation will not be scrapped.

A fixture list for the first few rounds of the rebooted season are also due to be confirmed, along with kick-off times and broadcast plans, though it is understood there will be some leeway for clubs to offer feedback.

The opening two matches are due to be played on 17 June, with a full round of fixtures that weekend.

Matchday operations and return-to-play protocols will also be presented, with clubs told that breaches of the strict biosecurity requirements would incur sanctions.

 

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Lewis Hamilton 'overcome with rage' at events in the US

Lewis Hamilton says he is "completely overcome with rage" at events in the USA following George Floyd's death.

It is the second time Hamilton has spoken out this week in the wake of protests breaking out across the US.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on 25 May after a white police officer, since charged with murder, knelt on his neck for several minutes.

"This past week has been so dark. I have failed to keep hold of my emotions," Hamilton, 35, said.

"I have felt so much anger, sadness and disbelief."

 

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Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool manager has 'missed football so much'

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he is "really happy to be back" to watch his "wonderful football team again" as they continue preparations for the Premier League's return on 17 June.

Klopp's side are 25 points clear at the top of the table and chasing the club's first league title for 30 years.

Players returned to contact training on 28 May but they will continue to be tested twice a week for coronavirus.

"I have missed it so much it's unbelievable," Klopp told BBC Sport.

"I know it's not the most important thing in life but it is my passion. I hope the people are looking forward to it because we are."

 

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Sancho scores first hat-trick as Dortmund trash Padeborn

England's Jadon Sancho scored the first hat-trick of his career on his first start since the Bundesliga resumed as Borussia Dortmund thrashed Paderborn.

After an uneventful first half, Thorgan Hazard put Dortmund ahead with a tap-in before Sancho slotted home his first goal since 29 February.

Sancho added the third after Uwe Hunemeier's penalty reduced the bottom side's deficit before Achraf Hakimi and Marcel Schmelzer made it 5-1.

The 20-year-old is the first English player to score an overseas hat-trick in one of Europe's major leagues for 31 years - former Luton forward Brian Stein was the last person to achieve the feat, playing for Caen against Cannes in France's Ligue 1 on 31 May 1989.

After scoring his first goal, Sancho took off his shirt to reveal a "Justice For George Floyd" T-shirt. Floyd died after being arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 25 May.

 

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Premier League set to restart on 17 June with Man City v Arsenal and Villa v Sheff Utd

The Premier League is set to restart on 17 June with Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal, subject to government approval.

A full round of fixtures would then be played on the weekend of 19-21 June.

There are 92 matches still to play, and the first to take place will be those the four teams involved have in hand.

All matches will take place behind closed doors and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport or Amazon Prime.

BBC Sport will air four live matches for the first time since the Premier League's inception in 1992.

 

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Formula 1's cost-cutting proposals approved by FIA

Formula 1's plan for cost-cutting measures has been approved by the sport's governing body the FIA.

The changes to the sporting, technical and financial regulations were passed by e-vote at Wednesday's world motorsport council meeting.

It was "due to the need to reduce costs and safeguard the sport in light of the Covid-19 pandemic", said a statement.

F1 had previously agreed to introduce a budget cap for the 2021 season, but these new measures go further.

Last Friday teams voted to accept a plan to lower the budget cap to be introduced next year by $30m to $145m (£114m). 

 

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Adria Tour: Novak Djokovic adds Marin Cilic and Borna Coric to event

Novak Djokovic has announced Croatia's Marin Cilic and Borna Coric as the latest players to join an eight-man tournament to tour the Balkans.

Austria's Dominic Thiem, Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov and Germany's Alexander Zverev - all current or former top-three players - will also take part.

The first leg will take place in Djokovic's hometown of Belgrade on 13 and 14 June.

"I'll do everything in my power to be a good host," said the world number one.

The tournament could be behind closed doors with Serbia's coronavirus containment measures still banning large-scale gatherings.

 

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Coronavirus: Sports events in March 'caused increased suffering and death'

Two major sporting events held in March "caused increased suffering and death", the scientist leading the UK's largest Covid-19 tracking project has said.

Data gathered from millions of volunteers found coronavirus "hotspots" shortly after the Cheltenham Festival and Liverpool's Champions League match against Atletico Madrid.

Professor Tim Spector said rates of cases locally "increased several-fold".

The government said many factors could influence cases in a particular area.

Less than three months ago sport across the UK was continuing as normal, despite the impending threat of coronavirus - which had already prompted some European countries to stage such events without spectators, or completely call them off.

 

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Timo Werner scored his first goals since the Bundesliga returned from a two-month break amid the coronavirus pandemic as RB Leipzig thumped Mainz.

Timo Werner scored his first goals since the Bundesliga returned from a two-month break amid the coronavirus pandemic as RB Leipzig thumped Mainz.

The 24-year-old Germany striker took his tally for the season to 30 with a superb hat-trick as his side won 5-0 to move third in the table.

Elsewhere on Sunday, pressure is mounting on Schalke boss David Wagner after his side lost 3-0 to Augsburg.

Schalke are now winless in nine games, and have scored only twice in that run.

And struggling Fortuna Dusseldorf were denied a vital win as Cologne came back from 2-0 down with three minutes left to draw 2-2.

 

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Coronavirus: Man Utd say pandemic has cost them £28m so far

Manchester United say the coronavirus pandemic has cost them an initial £28m - and expect the final figure to be far higher.

United revealed their third-quarter results to 31 March on Thursday.

Chief financial officer Cliff Baty said they are set to hand back £20m in TV revenue to broadcasters even if the Premier League season is completed.

United lost an additional £8m over the final three weeks of March, when they had three matches postponed.

A total of 11 United matches have been postponed because of the pandemic.

 

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Watford's Adrian Mariappa confirms coronavirus; N’Golo Kante misses training

Watford defender Adrian Mariappa says he is one of three people who tested positive for coronavirus at the club.

On Tuesday, it was announced there had been six positive tests across three Premier League clubs.

Two staff at Watford and Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan also tested positive, while the two others at a third club have not yet been revealed.

Chelsea's N'Golo Kante missed training over coronavirus fears, with the backing of his manager Frank Lampard.

Kante's decision to train at home follows a similar stance by Watford captain Troy Deeney and several of his team-mates.

 

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Manchester City appeal against Uefa's European ban set for June at Cas

Manchester City's appeal against a two-year ban from European club competition will begin on 8 June at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

The Premier League champions were given the punishment by Uefa in February after being found to have committed "serious breaches" of club licensing and financial fair play regulations.

City have denied the breaches, saying they are "simply not true".

The hearing is listed for three days and is not open to the public.

Cas said "some hearings may be conducted by video conference" because of the travel restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

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Project Restart: Premier League plan surprise inspections during training

Surprise inspections, GPS tracking and video analysis are methods that could be used to ensure clubs adhere to new safety guidance as they prepare for the resumption of the Premier League.

Teams agreed to start non-contact training in small groups from Tuesday.

"Gradually, we aim to ramp that up so we can have an inspector at every training ground," said Richard Garlick, the league's director of football.

"That will enable us to give confidence the protocols are being complied with."

He added: "We are looking at bringing in our own independent audit inspection team that we'll scale up over the next few days which will give us the ability to have inspections at training grounds to start with on a no-notice basis."

 

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Bundesliga: Players need to respect clear guidelines - Robert Klein

Bundesliga players will be reminded of the return-to-play guidelines before next weekend's matches after Hertha Berlin's players ignored them during Saturday's 3-0 win at Hoffenheim.

The DFL [German football league] has already said Hertha will not be punished for their celebrations.

However, Bundesliga International chief executive Robert Klein says the guidelines need to be followed.

"[There are] clear guidelines. We need everyone to respect them," he said.

"In the hygiene concept, the guideline is to celebrate within social distancing rules. One can imagine at the height of a goal being scored that maybe, sometimes, the players get closer.

 

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Football in England: Government 'opens door for safe return in June'

The government says it is "opening the door" for the return of professional football in England in June.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said Thursday's meeting with the Football Association, Premier League and English Football League had "progressed plans".

He added that plans for the sport to resume should "include widening access for fans to view live coverage".

Meanwhile, England's deputy chief medical officer said any return would be "slow" and "measured".

The Premier League met on Monday to discuss "Project Restart" and hopes for a return to action on 12 June, with matches played behind closed doors.

 

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