Sport vs COVID-19 News Round-Up_04.06.2020
Article by Daniel Cade, Director at SchweryCade.
Changes in the world are currently happening at lightening pace during these unprecedented times. In an effort to keep those within the industry up to date on events and opinions, each week I’m sharing 10 articles that provide insight in relation to Sport’s actions in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. To read previous issues of this news update (from mid-March to Mid-April), see my Linkedin posts.
Sport was once again served a wake-up call this week concerning the role it plays in the racism issue, compounded now by entrenched inequalities laid bare by the pandemic.
With several professional and semi-professional clubs on the brink of collapse in the UK, the English Premier League’s restart was confirmed and led to many projections of the challenges that may now arise in the next few weeks.
And, among other articles of interest – in a week that saw the Hungarian cup final played in front of 10,000 fans – the ethics of resuming sports was examined by a group of experts in an article published by The Score.
It won’t look the same, it won’t feel the same. But the millions for whom football is the best possible drug to lift spirits during the Covid-19 crisis will be delighted by the news.
Black lives do matter. Racism is a massive problem in football. This could be the wake-up call it needs to turn a corner and lead by example in a divided western world, one that’s collectively experiencing a year like no other in living memory.
As England’s top-tier clubs meet on Thursday to discuss the season’s resumption, here are some of the sticking points.
Damien Collins MP has warned that we may only have “a few weeks to save football in this country as we know it”, calling for a government-backed rescue package for clubs in financial distress to help prevent them following in the footsteps of Bury FC.
Wingate and Finchley have started a crowdfunding page to help the club through these uncertain times during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Unfortunately, the emergency funding by the Football Association and Premier League to lower levels of football have only found their way to National League clubs and above – it has not come lower down the Pyramid (i.e. to our level) and that leaves us in a difficult financial position. We are therefore appealing to our fans, the local community and the non-league family to help us bridge the financial losses we are suffering.”
The bubble has burst. Covid-19 will not stop some Premier League clubs from turning a profit for the current season, even though it now looks set to be played out behind closed doors.
Is it ethical for team sports to resume during a pandemic?
Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic – and promoting the value of healthy eating at the same time – UEFA’s football social responsibility partner, the European Healthy Stadia Network, is offering guidance to help community sports organisations support food banks and/or vulnerable members of their local community.
FIFA is sharing a football risk assessment tool with its 211 member associations, the six continental confederations and other stakeholders in order to facilitate the planning of the resumption of football activities by competition and match organisers, as soon as health authorities and governments consider it safe.
A steady stream of press releases from governing bodies in recent weeks has reinforced the view that sport returning to anywhere near normality is a distant proposition.