“I am sure that the everyone’s spirit of union with the coronavirus will help the Premier League to last in timeWith these unusual words, Gary Hoffman introduced himself last Friday as president of an English League shaken by COVID-19.
The replacement for Richard Scudamore – CEO until 2018 of a Premier that he polished to enormous economic power and sporting and global success with television as financial support – faces a double threat that has never been seen since its re-founding in 1992. Added to the uncertainty due to the disconnection of Brexit is a pandemic that is depreciating the ‘Premier Brand’.
Money in English football is counted in millions of euros: 1.774 spent their 20 teams on transfers in 2019-20; 2,785 entered for television rights in 2018-19 – the bottom Huddersfield received 110- and 3,519 invested in wages in 2019, according to the Global Sports Salary Survey. A jewel set by its huge television contract – more than 10 billion for the 2019-22 triennium supported by a live global audience of 1.35 billion people in 188 countries – that the coronavirus crisis is devaluing.
The pandemic has put the Premier in check. “It will have a more severe impact than Brexit. Soccer is going to be hit in its three main sources of income: box office, sponsorships and broadcasts. They will suffer until the games come back “, points to BRAND Kieran Maguire.
Professor at the University of Liverpool and responsible for the economic portal Price of Football describes this new era: “The total revenue of the clubs per course is 5.2 billion euros. Without football, there could be reductions of between 70 and 80%. 60%, about 3 billion, come from television and without parties they would disappear. In addition, there would be no sale of tickets and many would not renew their subscriptions. The box office represents 13% of the profits. ”
Maguire is not so pessimistic if the ball rolls again soon. “The English League will have difficulties, but no less than others. City, Chelsea, United, Liverpool … will continue to be strong in the market, but the rest could suffer. And the greats could press for the number of clubs to be reduced. the Premier or to eliminate a Cup, “he declares. “If the matches are restarted without an audience, the television operators would be happy because they would have a product to offer and the sponsors where to show themselves. Those incomes would be guaranteed! And teams could give their subscribers a link to watch their matches online … or broadcast them open“sentence.
Finishing the remaining nine days is the goal of a Premier stop from March 13. In a country confined until May 7 with more than 165,000 cases and 26,000 deaths from the corovirus, soccer is making a comeback. Arsenal, Tottenham, Brighton, West Ham… have opened their training centers for their players to work individually.
“We can go running and the club sets our training guidelines daily. We also do group ‘telesessions'”, affirms MARCA Pedro Chirivella. The Spanish half of Liverpool – they are two triumphs from the title – do not set deadlines: “Health comes first. Hopefully it resumes and we can win the Premier. Dates that are constantly changing are considered and there is nothing official. I imagine we would have a few weeks of work before returning with many games in a few days”
The Premier’s request that footballers reduce their wages by 30% has agitated football. The squads of Arsenal, Aston Villa … have accepted sales and Newcastle or Norwich have availed themselves of government aid to pay their workers. The controversy arose when Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health, asked for “sacrifices” from the players. The PFA (Union of Soccer Players) advocates helping the Health System (NHS) with its cuts. “Henderson pushed the initiative #PlayersTogether alongside the captains of all teams to support the NHS. We are happy to be able to help, “says Chirivella. The Premier, for her part, donated 23 million to Health and 142 to the lower categories.
The Premier commanded in 2019 taking the finals of the Champions League and the Europa League. Now, under the ‘Project Restart’, he works to return on June 8, complying with sanitary guarantees. The meeting on Friday, May 1 will be key. “Clubs hope to play behind closed doors in June and July and re-train on May 18. They need to finish the course to save television contracts, preserve sports integrity and not have legal problems with promotions, descents … “, confesses to BRAND Miguel Delaney.
The journalist of the Independent explains how the 92 remaining shocks would be resolved in 40 intense days: “Concentrating the clubs as in a World Cup, with the footballers isolated in their hotels and only going out to train and play – maybe on a neutral field – would limit the risks. But, they depend on the virus and massive tests. I still don’t see the government canceling the league. ”
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