Borussia Dortmund makes loss of $52M amid virus pandemic

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Borussia Dortmund made a loss of 43.9 million euros ($52 million) last season as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on the German club’s financial figures for 2019-20.

Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke blamed the results purely on the pandemic, which ended a decade of of financial profits for the club between 2011-19.

“Financially we always posted numbers in black for these years. Then corona came,” Watzke said.

The pandemic forced the Bundesliga to be suspended in March. It resumed two months later, but no fans have been allowed at games, forcing clubs to do without income from tickets.

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“We will only be back in the black again when we have no restrictions on spectators. But we have to be patient,” Watzke said. “It’s very hard to imagine soccer without fans. We have to keep holding out that long. We will hold out that long.”

Dortmund said its sales grew 6.3% for the first nine months of the financial year, before a drop of more than 25% for the last three months compared to the same period last year.

Dortmund normally has around 80,000 supporters at home league games, but the last five Bundesliga matches at the Westfalenstadion were without fans. The club said sponsorship, TV and transfer revenues were all down as a result of the pandemic.

The club said its total revenues, including including incoming transfer fees, were 486.9 million euros ($576.6 million), down 2.6 million ($3.1 million) on the season before.

Dortmund made a profit of 40.2 million euros ($47.6 million) from transfers, while personnel costs increased by 10.1 million euros ($12 million) to 215.2 million ($254.8 million) last season.

The club said it was well positioned in terms of revenue from advertising and sponsorship. New contracts with kit supplier Puma and a new main sponsor come into force for the upcoming season.

The new Bundesliga season is scheduled to begin without fans on Sept. 18.

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