But that is what transpired for Barnsley following their outstanding run to the Championship play-offs last season, according to co-chairman Paul Conway.
The Reds secured a fifth-placed finish in the table – their best since 1999-2000 – to secure participation in the end-of-season lottery, where they competed with Swansea City in a two-legged semi-final.
The first leg at Oakwell saw 4,000 vociferous home fans in attendance, with the game taking place on May 17.
That was the date when England moved to Step 3 on its Covid-19 roadmap from May 17, allowing clubs to welcome back some supporters.
Normally, a crowd of around 18,000 would have probably been expected, but for restrictions placed on the capacity of football stadiums during the Covid-19 pandemic, with Barnsley losing out from a significant financial windfall.
Conway said: “We ran a loss last season of about £2.5million. For getting in the play-offs, we lost £500,000.
“We have spoken to the EFL about teams getting into the play-offs in that in almost every other league around Europe, you get an additional solidarity payment for success.
“As a result of not having many fans in for the match and costs and bonuses, we lost £500,000 for reaching the play-offs.”