Christian Purslow reveals Aston Villa losing £1million a game without fans

Chief executive Christian Purslow has revealed Villa will make a £20million loss in revenue if they play the whole season without fans.

Christian Purslow (PA)
Christian Purslow (PA)

Villa Park has been empty since March last year when the pandemic struck.

While some clubs were allowed fans to return at the beginning of December, Villa were still denied due to the tier system.

It now looks increasingly likely, with further restrictions on the way, that the club may not see fans this season and Purslow has revealed the financial impact that will have.

“It’s quite clear now that we’re in danger of having the vast majority of this season be played with virtually no fans,” Purslow said to TalkSport. “It bites most hard for those enormous clubs at the top of the league with a 60,000 – 75,000 capacity sold out every week with high-paying hospitality customers.

“They’re taking £4million-£5million through the gate on a home game. Multiply that by 20 games a season and that’s £100million of lost revenue for those teams.

“Those of us in the middle and lower levels of the table with slightly smaller capacities, the numbers are much smaller.

“It probably runs to the best part of £1million, so that’s a £20million cost to any team in the Premier League if we go a season without fans.

“It now seems this virus has taken a turn for the worst and at the moment we’re going to be struggling to get any fans in. At this time our focus is on some terrible statistics in terms of the virus and people’s safety across the nation. We have to get this virus under control.”

Meanwhile, a number of players from Tottenham, Fulham, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Manchester City have broken tier four rules over the festive period.

Villa captain Jack Grealish was found foul of the rules last year and Purslow believes individual clubs should deal with rule breakers, rather than authorities from elsewhere getting involved.

“I think it’s a matter for each club to discipline it’s people,” he added.

“I take a very dim view of it. We had a couple of instances and we’ve taken a very strict line on it. One of the shining lights of football has been that in such tough times it’s been able to keep the show on the road to provide entertainment.

“That means that there’s a huge focus on our players and they have to understand that they are role models and in the public eye. My mantra is that they have to try and be whiter than white in everything they do.”

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