Sport vs COVID-19 News Round-Up_21.05.2020
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.
There appears to have been a lot of soul-searching in Germany after the re-start of the Bundesliga last weekend. How did it feel, is it worth it and how can we change it? A series of articles in sportanddev.org on reimagining the role of sport and development has also allowed me to include a couple of gems in this week’s round-up. And there’s some interesting insight from the Chairman of Elgin City on the short-term (fatal?) impact that social distancing may have on lower league clubs.
The head of the German Football Association (DFB) Fritz Keller has proposed a salary cap to help make the sport more sustainable following the coronavirus pandemic.
The restart of the Bundesliga behind closed doors has not been without controversy. Former DFL CEO Andreas Rettig spoke to DW about the lessons the league can learn from this situation and where it should go from here.
The worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 has affected all sectors of society, transforming our consumption and behaviour habits. The sports field is characterised by being a sector that adapts to its changing environment, and now, it has done so. Professional sport has been paralysed and thanks to this, programmes and initiatives to promote physical activity in local communities have become more important. Is it time for the sports sector to change its purpose and focus much more on cooperation and development?
In Germany […], the Frauen Bundesliga is still planning to return on 29 May, thus achieving symmetry with the men’s Bundesliga. Why is Germany different? Because funds have been made available for women’s teams to complete the season.
With fewer options for fans to currently engage, we believe that sports teams and codes in South Africa which have the ability to deliver their content, direct-to-consumer (DTC), will be the ones that come out of this in better shape – both financially and in terms of the vital goodwill of the fans who flock to stadia and buy merchandise.
“From our point of view, it’s not so much having no crowd coming in – I think that’s about 10% of our turnover. It’s the fact we’d have no hospitality, social club or functions in the room upstairs.”
If coronavirus has the potential to permanently alter the face of football at the very highest level, then the damage it can do to the grassroots game could be even more far-reaching. It’s not just the financial impact of Covid-19 that will be causing sleepless nights. It’s the social impact within the communities that clubs operate that could feel the full force of the crisis.
In a week the Premier League quietly went about the process of initiating Project Restart, basket case EFL club owners have apparently began Zoom-based mind-fart sessions for short-term answers to lower-league football sustainability.
Is it finally time for all sport stakeholders to reconceptualise ‘sport’ as not fractured, but consisting of several forms, along a single united continuum?
The resumption of “ghost games” behind closed doors in order to secure television money — no matter how economically vital it might be — is therefore anathema to Germany’s understanding of football. Suddenly, television comes first.