Some 150,000 football fans in the UK streamed English Football League matches (games from the Championship, League 1 and League 2) during the first two weeks of the 2020/21 season, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
With sporting events being playing out behind closed doors for the foreseeable future, a deal struck with Sky Sports, EFL’s domestic broadcast partner, allows clubs to air non-televised matches on their own digital platforms for £10 per match.
However, the viewing figures represent only 40 per cent of the clubs’ combined average matchday attendances. Football clubs playing in the EFL leagues have generated just a third of their usual gate receipts prior to the pandemic.
Rick Parry, EFL chairman, last week warned of the financial situation facing football clubs after the government suspended plans for fans to return to matches.
He said: “With extended measures introduced, it is imperative that the financial issues facing our clubs are addressed quickly. EFL clubs lost £50 million last season as a result of playing matches behind closed doors or curtailing the season and stand to lose a further UK£200 million in 2020/21 should we be required to play the whole season without supporters in grounds. I am encouraged that the government has recognised the need for urgent financial assistance for sport and discussions will continue with DCMS and the Premier League.”