The Government is currently maneuvering to ensure that the Professional Football League is resumed as soon as possible, behind closed doors, and can be followed by television by the “millions” of Spanish fans of this sport, since that “returns us to the normality “and” also contributes to strengthening the collective spirit in the last phase of confinement, “according to an internal document from the Higher Sports Council (CSD), under the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
Vozpópuli has been able to confirm through sources of the CSD itself the veracity of the document, “leaked” in the last hours. At the same time, this newspaper has learned through various sources that the Government has committed this week to La Liga to look for the formula that the current season does not have to be canceled.
“The Government is interested in that the current season can be finished“sources close to the CSD have pointed to this medium, which reported that if La Liga manages to be completed in the summer or sooner, the economic losses expected by Covid-19 for football could be reduced from 1,000 million euros from a cancellation (500 of them, due to debts with televisions like Telefónica) to 300 million (for playing behind closed doors).
The League, in fact, is already working with the hypothesis that in June or July matches have resumed behind closed doors. The club’s employers expect that the season could last until July 31 or the first weeks of August. The stage of a cancellation will not be on the table until at least May 27, they assure from La Liga, confident that football will return. They are also clear that the matches would be behind closed doors until December.
Regarding the internal document of the CSD, from the entity that depends on the Ministry of Culture and Sport they clarify this medium that “it is a internal working document prepared a month ago“that has been” leaked “now.
In it it was detailed that soccer on television would return at some point after May 15, date from which the document stipulated that the scenario is on the way “towards normalization with the broadcasts of soccer and basketball on television.”
For the period between May 15 and 28, the professional sports training without restrictions (after a progressive escalation from April 27), having previously specified “strengthened health protocols” from the hand of Health.
To questions about these deadlines, from the CSD they reply that “unfortunately” the document “is no longer valid”, since it is subject to what the Ministry of Health. However, different sources are considering May 11 as the date to return to training.
The League has decided this Friday defer tests to players (the immediate previous step to the return to training) that he had planned and to carry out next week for lack of authorization from the Ministry of Health. A “minor” delay, they also point out from La Liga. To be effective, in fact, the tests must be done between 3 and 7 days before the actual return to training.
“We are sure that the season will be able to finish, even if it is necessary to extend something beyond July” “We are sure that the season can be finished before July 31. If it is necessary to extend something beyond July, it will be done, but we are not considering cancellation or changes for the next season,” said the employer’s president. of clubs, Javier Thebes, stressing that “the government’s criteria has never changed”
The employers are clear that they will be able to do all the necessary tests to the players soon.. “We have gone to the market and we have them, like many other companies, we are not the ones who have to answer why we have tests and other people don’t“, Thebes has affirmed on an issue that has raised controversy.
Five arguments for the return of football
The CSD document justifies the benefits of the gradual opening of the training of athletes, of the soccer league and eventually also of basketball.
The CSD cites the “normalization of everyday life” as the first argument for this gradual opening. “The suspension of competitions is a historical anomaly, with precedents only in periods of war. Playing professional football and basketball games behind closed doors allows them to be broadcast on television. Watching them at home returns us to normality. soccer spectators (and other sports -basketball-, to a lesser extent, and once they are reactivated) are millions. It also contributes to strengthen the collective spirit in the last phase of confinementOn the one hand, families, nursing homes, centers for minors and immigrants; on the other, penitentiary centers, “says the document.
Second, the CSD refers to the “reputation of Spain. The two most internationally known Spanish brands are the Real Madrid and the FC Barcelona. In world sport, they are among the ten most valuable and influential. The resumption of the Spanish league (one of the two best in the world) would have a positive impact on our reputation. Devising health-safe gaming protocols would place us at the forefront of sports health. ”
Another argument goes through the “international representationThe DAN (high-level athletes) are a ‘national asset’, as representatives of Spain in international competitions, including the Olympic Games. This has great political relevance: by resuming their training, we help that when they exercise that representation of Spain they do it in better conditions. In addition, we demonstrate to be conscious of its symbolism for the country “.
An economic rescue of the whole of sport will be necessary, but since there will be no public resources for all, the only private collaborator that could contribute is soccer
The CSD also brings up the economic question. “Soccer represents approximately 1.4% of GDP, and some 185,000 jobs (direct, indirect and induced), according to La Liga. In the post-Covid era, soccer has to become the locomotive of sport. An economic rescue of the whole of sport will be necessary, but since there will be no public resources for all, the only private collaborator that could contribute is football: it is important to take care of this role as a partner in solving the crisis in the sector. The clubs are economic agents, and also depositaries of feelings of belonging: the same is true of the different Spanish teams, whose players thrive on the clubs. ”
Finally, an argument is put forward to defend the return to normality of athletes in general. “Training is a job. For professional athletes, their job is to train, so when people are allowed to resume work, they can fairly claim to return to theirs, which is sports. “
Anyways, Vozpópuli has been able to confirm that this week the Executive has committed to the professional football league to work so that the current season does not have to be canceled, which implies that the eleven dates remaining to be played will have to be disputed like late in summer.
This, in exchange for the League doubling its contribution to amateur football (via the Royal Spanish Football Federation) and to other sports (via the Higher Sports Council), up to 113 million annually, what has already been initialed by royal decree this week.
It is ultimately the consummation of a plan “public-private rescue“to the sport in general in which the private lever passes through the professional soccer league, as already foreseen by the CSD internal working document referred to the beginning of this article.