The Pandemic damaging the world of Sport
Since the outbreak of the Novel corona-virus, a huge number of people globally have been affected by the deadly virus.
Going from epidemic to pandemic within the first three months of the year the activities of humans have been affected fundamentally, from the economy to the Individual lives. With both sectors affecting each other.
Included in those affected are the Sporting events all around the world.
Major sporting events have been cancelled or postponed.
Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been postponed to 2021, to run from July - August 2021. Including qualifiers
Copa America and Euro 2020 postponed till 2021.
World Athletics indoor championships have been postponed to 2021
Boxing matches postponed to later months. With Anthony Joshua's title defense moved to later in the year 2020.
All racing events have been postponed. Including Rally and Formula racing.
All Official basketball seasons have been postponed and suspended till a "better period" with the NBA; National basketball association and, WNBA; Women's national basketball association releasing statements on this.
Both Table and Lawn tennis events have been postponed with Wimbledon 2020 cancelled. For the first time since World War II.
Three weeks tour de France has been moved to August and will end in September.
With other Cycling tours postponed till further notice. A new Racing calendar is also being prepared.
MLB Major League Baseball games, scheduled to be played in Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico, are cancelled.
With other Baseball events being postponed.
Others events; Judo, Cricket, Weightlifting, Paralympics, Canoeing, Rugby, Golf, Wrestling, Badminton, Motogp and Marathons. All postponed.
For the Soccer/ Football Leagues and the Issues that arise
In March, The Nigerian Football Federation announced that has suspended all football activities after Match day 25 fixtures were played. Before the infection cases took definite effect.
In the English premier league. Matches slated for Game week 30 were postponed with Manchester City vs Arsenal the first fixtures to be moved on March 11.
EFL, FA Cup Quarter finals, UEFA Champions league and Europa league have all postponed their games and fixtures.
Same occurred in almost all other leagues around the world. German League, Spanish League, French League, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal Leagues etc.
Players have been given home based training plans and have been advised to stick to a certain diet to keep them match fit as possible, away from the training ground. Though new less intense workouts have been given to maintain a base fitness level.
All these raised the debate of "should the leagues be completed later or should they be cancelled?”
Now, to say the league be cancelled isn't a bad suggestion because it reduces the likelihood of being exposed to the Novel Corona-virus compared to completing the Leagues at a later date. But first, we have to look deeper at the Leagues. Every league consists of a governing body and the Football Clubs. The Clubs then consist of the Governing body of the Club, the players and the Staff.
In this we see and value what really keeps a league going. Finance. Finance is the first thing needed. Each of the Leagues, including their Governing bodies and the clubs require recompenses due to them spending in that season. The Revenue is an integral part of the Leagues.
What drives the revenue? In no exact order, the Factors and means
2. Gate Receipts/ Match day revenue
3. TV broadcast rights/ Commercials
4. UEFA bonuses.
5. Others: Donations, Retails etc.
With the League's and Clubs deriving a major percentage of their Revenue from these. Out of these Revenue, Players and Staff of the Clubs are been paid. With more than 50% of the revenue going into wage/salary payments. Same with the governing body.
Without matches being played all sources of Revenue are at risk.
With the case of all clubs combined losing up to £1 billion in major domestic leagues if the season isn't completed.
One of the first steps Clubs used were Player pay cuts. In some leagues some players agreed to take 20% pay cut, some other Leagues some took 40% pay cuts for three months. But the money saved is just so little against the total margin of expected revenue and costs recompensed. Some leagues took 25% wage deferral for April.
Alternative ways and plans are being drawn to find a way to get the revenue that clubs usually get from Gate receipts. With Major Clubs losing more than £100 million from all competitions.
Also, incomplete seasons mean that leagues can't award championship titles, nominate qualifiers for UEFA's competitions or decide who will be relegated to second tier divisions.
Hence, the major answer of Clubs is to complete the season with accordance with safety guidance from the health sector. Teams in certain leagues have already started resuming training sessions with few people in attendance to keep things safe. German League clubs Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund had training sessions in early April at their training grounds with few personnel in attendance while till observing the safety precautions.
On April 17, after a meeting between the clubs it was announced that the premier league will only resume when medical guidance allows. With plans to avoid the season being written off.
Then other issues came up. About "when will it be?" and "how will it be done?”
When will it be? And how will it be done?
Information gotten from reliable sources say that most Major Domestic football Leagues aim at resuming training from May and also aim to resume matches towards the end of May behind closed doors. With every equipment needed being prepared and placed in strategic places. The Protocol of players and staff movement will follow a direct line so as to prevent any surprising events. The existence of the clubs especially the financially weaker ones depends on the completion of the season.
All these will depend on the workload and the freedom of Health care personnel so as to have enough people ready for any change.
A league statement read "We are acutely aware of the distress COVID-19 is causing and our thoughts are with all those directly affected by the pandemic"
"In common with other businesses and industries, the premier league and our clubs are working through complex planning scenarios. We are actively engaging with stakeholders. And our aim is to ensure we are in a position to resume playing when it is safe to do so with the full support of the Government"
Also, the league unanimously voted to advance funds of £125million to the EFL and National League as it is aware of the severe difficulties clubs throughout the football pyramids are suffering at this time."
Hence, Players and clubs have been instructed to prepare for resumption "at short notice". With all these said, most Leagues don't plan on cancelling this season.
League actions when resumed will last depending on how many matches are left unplayed.
UEFA has said that UEFA Champions League and Europa League matches will wait till all Domestic leagues have been concluded.
With or without gaining stadium gate receipts for revenue, delivering a successful conclusion to the season remains the goal.
Several clubs have pushed for the season to be concluded before June 30 due to player’s contracts expiring at the end of the month. Like Chelsea midfielder Willian and Tottenham Hotspur defender; Jan Vertonghen. June 30 is also another issue for clubs set to use kits provided by different manufacturers. With Liverpool set to change from New Balance to Nike, while Newcastle and Watford are set to change suppliers.
In Italy, the Italian football federation hopes to begin testing all players at the beginning of May before gameplay resumptions.
Despite what Leagues want the decision to resume play will still rests on the Health Authorities and the Government of each League's Country.
How much English Notable Premier league teams will lose
PL TV REVENUE
TOTAL LOST INCOME
Written by Ojemen Ese