he world seems falling apart as the immense threat from the corona virus pandemic becomes inescapable. Unprecedentedly, most nations are confined under in a total or partial lockdown as Covid-19 hits harder. So far almost half a million have died and close to two million are infected.
The pandemic has disrupted socio-economic lives. Big and small businesses have been shattered. Giant, emerging and poor economies are in deep crises. Interactions have been limited as lockdown and stay at home measures are enforced. People are told to seriously observe social distancing, self-sanitizing and many safety guidelines. They are forced to avoid social engagements as the spread of the deadly virus has entangled the survival of billions of people.
Sports are one of the socially engaging activities that saw the devastating blows from Covid-19. It is to be recalled that various top football club coaches and players tested positive. Two Juventeus players, Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matudi have tested positive for Covid-19. Arsenal head coach Mikel Artetais also one of the victims. Weeks have passed since the English Premier League (EPL) has announced the postponement of league matches and players have turned to engage in social support and donation activities.
As sports have tight relations with businesses, the blow to the sport industry also is manifested in terms of financial crisis. Many clubs across the globe are associated with big companies that involve through sponsorship, brand promotions and equipment manufacturing and the like. According to suggestions of economists, in many lower leagues of Europe, the economic situation for clubs is generally precarious than in the upper leagues.
In fact, it is highly anticipated that the lower leagues particularly those depend on society pocket will face financial crisis than the big clubs in the top leagues. There is an estimation that the total losses for European big five at anywhere from Euros 3.45 to 4 billion. According to the ESPN reports, the premier league is the hardest hit with estimated loses mounting Euros 1.15 to 1.25 billion.Back in 2018, the UEFA has bench marked reports that show big five leagues have earned Euros 15.7 billion and based on these benchmarks, the inflicted loses have been projected.
Furthermore, the ESPN report elaborates the estimates of the worst-case scenarios to show when no more games are being played and matches are not broadcasted, media right holders and sponsors are backing off from payments and some are demanding their money back.
However, most of the top leagues depend on TV right incomes and have a jersey sponsorship deals. Apart from that, some clubs are hoped to have some incomes as owned by oil companies. Currently, particular clubs are in the way to cut their players monthly wages in order to donate to workers amid COVID-19. The Barcelona star Lionel Messi was the ice breaker to cut pay 70 percent to donate to workers amid COVID.
According to an AP report, players of English Premier League clubs have failed to reach an agreement last week with their clubs to consider a 30 percent pay cuts until the coronavirus pandemic is over. That led to bitter public row as trade unions disparaged the many workers will end up jobless and the government as well will lose out more than 200 million pounds or close to USD 245 million in tax.
The media report has it that a meeting between Premier League clubs has week was ended up with some agreements on the needs to ask players to forego 30 percent of their pay cut or deferred. However, the standoff between the players, unions and clubs remain in limbo.
Meanwhile, the 32 edition of the Olympiad which was scheduled to be held in Tokyo 2020 was also postponed by one year due to the COVID -19 pandemic. According to the International Olympics Association (IOC), the 2020 Tokyo Games needed to be postponed for one year and will take place from July 23 to 8 August 2021. The IOC, after various discussions and pressures from member countries finally agreed on to change its stance and pass decisions. Originally Olympic Games were scheduled to take place between July 24 and August 9, 2020, it is now postponed by a year to August 23, 2021.
In this regard, despite decided to be held in 2021, the 32 edition of the Olympic Games will still maintain to be called “Tokyo 2020”, for marketing and branding purposes. This marks the first time in history that the Olympic Games have postponed to a later year.
Right after the IOC statement on March 25, 2020, the Ethiopian Olympic Committee (EOC) has announced it will continue regular preparations for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Games. It is to be recalled that that EOC has called the Ethiopian national team to regroup and stay in their hotels until further notice. However, the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) officially dissuaded the EOC’s call and told athletes to go home instead.
After turns and twist, the postponed Tokyo Games hoped to give a chance for the athletes to have more time for preparations within the one yearlong gaps. Following the decision of executive committee, the EAF has pledged 4.5 million birr to assist the national athletics team. According to the EAF, 211 athletes were enlisted to join the Olympics team and 56 coaches were assigned.
Yet, all Olympics team and activities, however, needed to be banned and football teams and matches as elsewhere have also been suspended for indefinite period of time.
Overall, the upcoming statements from clubs across the world will witness over the salary cut applied or not. But, it is certain that no one is pretty sure either the football league resume soon.