Belgium’s football union, URBSFA, posted a six-million-euro loss in 2020, after the crisis caused by the novel Coronavirus put paid to sporting activities and the one-million-euro profit margin it had projected.
“The pandemic hit practically all Belgian football clubs severely,” the Federation said in a press release on Saturday. “URBSFA and its two wings, the ACFF and Voetbal Vlaanderen, have not escaped the repercussions of the health crisis either, registering a 22-million-euro reduction in earnings compared to budgetary forecasts.”
“Advertising income from sponsors and media, which had been revised upward, was unfortunately reduced to nothing due to loss of income on the Red Devils and Red Flames matches after Euro 2020 was postponed,” URBSFA added.
The Belgian union, which had accumulated reserves, was forced to support the clubs. “The board of administration partially exempted all clubs from paying their federal contributions and insurance premiums (5 out of 9 months), which were equivalent to the sum of 3.8 million (euros), especially for amateur clubs,” according to the association.
“Professional clubs received their reimbursements more quickly, for a total of 2.3 million euros and benefitted from the exemption from federal taxes on subscriptions and business seats,” URBSFA added. “We also decided to partially prolong these support measures in 2021. So far our federation has committed a total of over eight million euros to financial support for its clubs.”
URBSFA has also been able to “save about 15 million euros in terms of costs, mainly due to the cancellation of international competitions along with amateur and professional football, and by drastically slashing our recurrent expenditure.” As a result, the association was able to limit its financial losses to six million euros.
“Despite this difficult year, the financial future of URBSFA, which still has capital assets equivalent to 47 million euros, is good,” URBSFA CEO Peter Bossaert said. “We are going to offset 2020’s losses over the next two years, thanks mainly to profits generated by many major tournaments to be organised soon: Euro 2020, the Nations’ League Final Four in late 2021 and the 2022 World Cup.
“We’ll also continue to invest in building the future of Belgian football, including with our new base camp in Tubize, the centralised VAR, the continued development of our sports infrastructure and the digitisation of our activities due, among other things, to the RBFA app. We shall also play our social role more than ever, with the Belgian Red Courts and our action plan, Come Together to Fight Discrimination and Racism.”