French top division clubs lost $678 million last season.

Neymar of PSG, right, and Corentin Jean of Lens challenge during the Ligue 1 soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Lens at Parc des Princes in Paris, Saturday, April 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Neymar of PSG, right, and Corentin Jean of Lens challenge during the Ligue 1 soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Lens at Parc des Princes in Paris, Saturday, April 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PA

French top-division soccer clubs lost 645 million euros ($678 million) in the coronavirus-hit 2020-21 season, the league’s financial watchdog said on Thursday.

The DNCG said 17 of the 20 Ligue 1 teams lost money last season.

Match revenue took a huge hit as matches were held without fans from October and with a limited capacity set at 5,000 previously. Only Saint-Etienne, Rennes and Dijon – which was relegated – remained in the green.

The total amount lost was 140% higher than the €269m ($283m) total lost in the 2019-20 campaign, which was called off with 10 matches left when the pandemic hit.

Even though this season ended early, clubs still brought in 170 million euros ($179 million) from ticket sales, a total that dropped massively last season to just 8 million. euros ($8.4 million).

For example, Paris Saint-Germain’s ticket revenue fell from 38 million euros ($40 million) to 961,000 euros ($1 million).

Lyon fared slightly better, dropping from €35.5 million ($37.3 million) to €2 million ($2.1 million).

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