Colin Abgrall 6:54 p.m., October 28, 2021

During a telephone press conference, Jean-Michel Aulas presented the financial results of the OL Groupe structure, of which he is the president, for the 2020/2021 season.

The observation is edifying, with a shortfall of 150 million euros with the main factor being the Covid-19 pandemic.


It is the crisis on the side of Olympique Lyonnais.

Jean-Michel Aulas, president of the Rhone club, announced during a conference call on Wednesday that his group has suffered a loss of 107 million euros over the 2020/2021 season, a deficit tripled compared to the previous season, already impacted by Covid-19.

The pandemic is the main factor, but declining sports results and the crisis in TV rights have not helped an already perilous situation.

The three causes of the deficit

Since the construction of the Groupama Stadium by OL Groupe, a venue capable of accommodating both sports and events (concerts, in particular), this level of loss has been unprecedented. The shortfall breaks down into three levels. According to Jean-Michel Aulas, the pandemic cost 48 million euros, while the matches behind closed doors and the sometimes disappointing spectacle terribly weighed down the ticket office. The absence of the European Cup last season also penalizes the club, to the tune of 80 million euros, a loss of earnings linked to the various income from UEFA competitions (bonuses, TV rights, etc.).

Finally, the failure of Mediapro, former holder of the rights to Ligue 1, causes a loss of 22 million euros.

It is therefore 150 million euros that escape the funds of the club.

With revenues of "only" 177 million euros, OL shows a 35% drop in turnover in 2021.

"We need the Champions League"

Despite this, Jean-Michel Aulas indicated that OL Groupe had still invested despite the pandemic.

In particular, the "Arena" project was adopted.

This enclosure will be able to accommodate up to 16,000 people and will be built next to the Groupama Stadium in Décines.

The Euroleague basketball matches of ASVEL, OL's partner club, will also be held there.

On the sporting side, the 72-year-old leader has given his priority in the short term: a return to the most prestigious European Cup.

"We need the Champions League for our accounts, but also to keep our recruits," he said.

He did not fail to warn once again Paris-Saint Germain who "will have to settle a problem of financial fair play", information that the president claims to hold other European clubs.

Despite a globally declining turnover, Jean-Michel Aulas finally says he is "ready to invest" in the winter transfer window, in particular because of the Africa Cup of Nations in January which will deprive OL of some of them. his players for about a month.