We have today confirmed the organisation’s financial results for the 2019-20 season, between 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020.
During the 2019-20 season, we generated a total turnover of £335m [2018-19: £466m] with an operating profit of £9.8m [2018-19: £62.8m]. These financial results comprise a consolidation of The Football Association Limited, Wembley National Stadium Limited and the National Football Centre Limited.
The organisation was on track to deliver a record investment into the game before the impact of the global pandemic towards the end of the 2019-20 financial year, which meant the organisation had to significantly reduce its expenditure and investment.
Events were played behind closed doors, which greatly affected event day and Club Wembley revenue, and the rescheduling of four home England matches and both the men’s and women’s FA Cup Finals led to deferring broadcast and sponsorship income.
In June 2020, we announced plans to prepare for a £300m loss over a four-year period to 2024, in order to prudently support the English game through the pandemic.
This reflected the immediate impact of matches being played behind closed doors, as well as the longer-term impact on commercial and hospitality revenues. With FA Board approval, the organisation reduced its cost base by £75m per annum with reductions focused on prize money, facilities investment, grassroots football grants and overheads. These cost reduction measures and the financing that is in place will see the organisation spread its losses over the four-year period and survive the pandemic.
The challenges of COVID-19 impacted the final third of the financial year, by which point many financial commitments had been made. As such, we still reinvested £150m back into every level of football, including competition prize money, facilities, County FAs, women’s football and the grassroots game.
Investment across the game was slightly down on the FA’s record £167m reinvestment into football in the 2018-19 season, primarily due to the savings in prize funds from the delay to the Emirates FA Cup Final and other cost deferrals linked to the global pandemic, as well as savings the organisation was able to implement in the latter stages of the financial year.
The full impact of COVID-19 will be clearer in the 2020-21 season, when the full-year effect of the annual £75m reduction in cost base will flow through the organisation’s investments in the game.
We have acted to maximise support for the grassroots game, most recently working with partners through the Football Foundation to provide over £16m of funding to help grassroots clubs prepare for the return of football at the end of March 2021. This crucial financial support to clubs and leagues will help them to get football up and running again.
Our chief executive officer, Mark Bullingham, said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has delivered a huge blow to the FA and the wider game. Like many organisations, the true financial impact of the pandemic will not be known for a few years.
"We made the difficult decision to dramatically reduce our budget by £75m per year to cover anticipated losses of up to £300m within a four-year period. Unfortunately, this meant that we had to lose some of our colleagues.
"We worked hard to ensure we are able to deliver on our priorities, and we have preserved our core functions that regulate and support English football, while continuing to support our national teams in their efforts to win major tournaments. We have protected strategic priorities, including the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and our IT transformation to support the grassroots game.
"We're proud of our achievements during this unprecedented 12 months, particularly as we have had to overcome and navigate our way through an unpredictable period for the organisation. We're now focused on building on the strong platform we have put in place to ensure we best serve and grow the game for all."
Partnerships with leading brands continues to be crucial to our success and in a difficult year their support was unwavering, enabling continued investment into the game. The 2019-20 season saw a number of partnership renewals alongside the addition of Deliveroo and Nationwide to the FA partnership portfolio.
While events at Wembley Stadium connected by EE have been impacted by COVID-19, this summer it is set to play a major part in the rescheduled UEFA EURO 2020, hosting seven matches including the semi-finals and final, putting the home of English football at the heart of the tournament.
For more information on our financial results, please click here