We’re seeing businesses of all shapes and sizes across the country struggle as the spread of the coronavirus has required many workers to stay at home – our favourite restaurants have closed and some many struggle to re-open, our schools and universities have followed suit with some offering online classes as an alternative where available, betting websites have had to turn to their online casinos not registered with gamstop counterparts as an alternative, and our favourite sporting events are finding either postponements or cancellations, often times with no scheduled date for things to start again in sight.
One thing that many forget from time to time, however, is that the clubs we support and follow are also the very same businesses that are struggling to stay afloat during this time of uncertainty – efforts have been made to help and curb the losses as many players, especially in the bigger clubs, have voluntarily had their wages cut by up to 25% with additional donations being made toward the NHS – we’ve even seen in some countries that were a little harder hit such as Spain, the Barcelona team had cuts of up to 70%, but as we approach what would be the regularly scheduled off-season worries continue to grow. Richard Masters, the chief exec. of the Premier League has stated that if the season is unable to reach completion, they could face losses of up to £1 billion, and even more if further delays are caused, and as it stands it seems almost inevitable that further delays will come.
(Image from sportinglife.com)
The problem sits a little heavier on the smaller teams, and the lower leagues, however, as the options available to them aren’t as plentiful. The bigger teams have been able to issue these wage cuts and furlough non-playing staff and still keep enough in the bank to be mostly safe when all this is over – the smaller teams however do not have that luxury and many risk seeing closure in the coming weeks and months. Oftentimes, the players are on a low salary with many taking up a second job with their careers in football being more of an amateur-hobby, rather than their professional career, and the club owners simply don’t have the level of capital of their larger counterparts – the lower leagues themselves too face risk as game cancellations mean no fan attendance and no participation from teams, some have said that we depending on the length of the postponements some of these may not return at all.
With uncertainty still around just how much longer we could see lockdowns in place within the UK, there’s no surefire way to know just how far reaching the impact could be, an expert analysis is understandably not as comprehensive as many would like. News may start coming through in the coming weeks for those who are feeling the effects much harder than others, and it may not be long before we start seeing the real impacts of this on our smaller sporting favourites.