The European football body UEFA has posted a deficit of €73.9 million for 2019-2020 ©Getty Images

The European football body UEFA has posted a deficit of €73.9 million (£63.8 million/$88.7 million) for the COVID-hit 2019-2020 financial year.

With Euro 2020 postponed by a year, revenue for the 12 months to end-June was restricted to €3.04 billion (£2.6 billion/$3.6 billion), versus €3.86 billion (£3.3 billion/$4.6 billion) the previous year and €4.58 billion (£3.95 billion/$5.5 billion) in 2015-2016, normally the comparable period in the prior four-year cycle.

UEFA claimed nevertheless that "even if the growth achieved over the last number of years experienced an unexpected dent", revenue of more than €3 billion (£2.6 billion/$3.6 billion) was still "remarkable".

With prospects of the quadrennial Euro 2020 going ahead in line with the revised schedule after completion of the current European club season now very good, much of the missing revenue will plainly be shunted into 2020-2021.

Many question-marks remain, however, over the precise conditions under which the competition - due to run in various locations between June 11 and July 11 - will be played out.

In such circumstances, it seems inevitable that associated costs will be higher and revenues lower than originally projected pre-pandemic.

More than 85 per cent of the revenue UEFA did generate in 2019-2020 came from media rights, with the bulk of the remainder - €417.8 million (£360.6 million/$501.4 million) - coming from commercial rights.

So-called solidarity payments dipped from €275.2 million (£237.5 million/$330.2 million) in 2018-2019 to €242.8 million (£209.5 million/$291.4 million), with distribution payments cut from €3.09 billion (£2.67 billion/$3.7 billion) to €2.42 billion (£2.1 billion/$2.9 billion).

The postponement of Euro 2020 by a year has restricted the governing body's revenue ©Getty Images
The postponement of Euro 2020 by a year has restricted the governing body's revenue ©Getty Images

Solidarity payments were as much as €1.16 billion (£1 billion/$1.4 billion) in 2015-2016.

The deficit resulted in year-end reserves falling from almost €575 million (£496 million/$690 million) to just over €500 million (£431.5 million/$600 million).

The postponement of Euro 2020 had a knock-on effect on the balance-sheet, which swelled more than 50 per cent to around €3.8 billion (£3.28 billion/$4.56 billion) because accrued expenses and deferred income more than doubled to €2.38 billion (£2.05 billion/$2.86 billion).

UEFA said that a series of measures, including a temporary salary reduction for top management, delivered €34 million (£29.3 million/$40.8 million) in savings, with a similar figure expected for 2020-2021.

Specifically, UEFA's compensation committee endorsed a 20 per cent salary reduction for senior management over three months from May to July 2020.

President Aleksander Čeferin was said to have received fixed compensation of a gross CHF2.42 million (£1.89 million/$2.64 million/€2.19 million) in 2019-2020, with general secretary Theodore Theodoridis getting just under CHF1.36 million (£1.06 million/$1.48 million/€1.23 million), also gross.

A headcount freeze was put in place from April 2020.

Euro 2020 is due to go ahead in 12 cities across Europe from June, with UEFA demanding stadiums being filled to at least 25 per cent capacity.

Decisions on Munich, Bilbao and Dublin are due to be made on Friday (April 23) with Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar saying June would likely be "too early" for the capital to meet the criteria.