U.S. Soccer Federation projects $28 million deficit for FY 2020

The U.S. Soccer Federation is projecting a deficit of nearly $28 million for the 2020 fiscal year, $16.8 million more than planned, the organization announced at Saturday's meeting of the Board of Directors.

USSF Chief Financial Officer Pinky Raina was among the Federation's executives to make presentations at the meeting. She stated that the results for the fiscal year, which closed on March 31, are preliminary and not fully audited. But the numbers still present a grim financial picture for the USSF, especially since they do not include the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The USSF had already budgeted an $11.1m shortfall for FY 2020, but the numbers that Raina reported state that the deficit for that period will be $27.9m.

Revenues for FY2020 were $129.2m, about $2.6m below what was budgeted. The bigger impact was in expenses, which came in at $157m, which was $14.1m more than what was budgeted.

The USSF has attempted to mitigate the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic in recent months, which has halted programming for all of its national teams. The USSF announced in April that it was laying or furloughing off up to 50 staff. The US is also shuttering seven youth national teams for the rest of the year.

Raina explained that the shortfall was most impacted by three areas. Due to volatility in the financial markets, the USSF brought in less investment income, though the current investment account balance as of June 2020 is $106m.

Fundraising also came in lower than expected due to "timing delays." The USSF also had higher legal expenses.

While Raina didn't break out these numbers, non-operating revenue came in at $2.6m, which was $6.9m less than what was budgeted, while non-operating expenses came in at $25.4m, which was $19.5m more than was budgeted.

In terms of the impact on the budget for the 2021 fiscal year, Raina said it was still unknown what the full impact from the pandemic would be. It's also uncertain when the various national teams will return to the field, as well the impact from head count changes. The outcome from pending litigation and collective bargaining negotiations is also unknown.

Despite that uncertainty, Raina said she expects an increase in the deficit for the 2021 fiscal year due to "COVID-19 and market volatility." More will be known when the Board meets again in September.

The USSF is also revising what it expects its investment account balance to be for the 2023 fiscal year. Originally, that was expected to be $42m at that time, but has been revised downward to $25m. That assumes that business activity will return to normal in the 2022 and 2023 fiscal years.

The USSF did settle a lawsuit with the U.S. Soccer Foundation last month. The USSF also received a favorable ruling as it relates to most of the issues surrounding the equal pay lawsuit with players from the U.S. women's national team, though the players are appealing.

Cindy Parlow Cone oversaw her first USSF Board of Directors meeting since taking over as president back in March. Earlier in the week, the USSF Board voted to repeal Policy 604-1, which required players to stand for the national anthem. She had earlier apologized for the policy, and she took the opportunity on Saturday to reiterate those sentiments.

"I want to again personally apologize to all the black people as well as other minorities for us not being leaders in this fight," she said. "I want to affirm that your experiences in our country are real, that I hear you, that I see you, and that I believe in you. We are committed to doing better to help fight racism and discrimination in all its forms.

"Repealing Policy 604-1 was just the first step. We will continue to engage with our players, our staff, and soccer stakeholders to help us be a positive force for change going forward. And this is not about short term initiatives. This is about writing these ideals into our DNA so they are informing every decision we make moving forward."

Republican lawmaker Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida has called out USSF for the anthem policy reversal, with President Donald Trump tweeting on Saturday that he wouldn't be watching soccer in the future.