With death tolls rising all over the world due to the Coronavirus pandemic, football, or sports in general, is facing a major problem.
Declaring a season null and void is an option, but that’s not going to solve the problem.
Promotion, relegation, contracts, broadcast money – there are a lot of factors that prevent taking this bold measure: a reason why…
football governing bodies are so determined to play the season out.
April and May is the time when the football leagues across the continent reach the climax.
However, due to the lockdown imposed by almost every country, it is unknown whether football at all can be resumed any time soon.
While the players are trying their best to help the needy ones, football clubs are struggling to minimize the financial impact from revenue loss.
The two months of absence has already impacted the high-running operational costs.
Europe’s most prestigious competitions – Champions League and Europa League – have been halted with a total of 40 matches remaining.
In the Premier League, a total of nine matches are left to be played. It is the same with the Bundesliga. The Ligue 1 has 10 games remaining, while La Liga and Serie A have 11 and 12 games left to be played.
When can the season resume?
According to reports from The Guardian, Premier League clubs are planning to resume the season on the weekend of 13-14 June.
It has been reported that they are aiming to finish the competitions by 31 July to leave August clear for the completion of the Champions League and Europa League.
However, the league is concerned about the worst-case scenario given the unpredictability of the pandemic.
Last game played: March 9
Current target date to resume: June 6
Will season be voided? Leagues are committed to finishing
Financial cost to league: $1.25 billion (£1bn) if cancelled
In Spain, the leagues are working on three scenarios depending on what happens over the next few weeks.
According to ESPN, the first plan is to start around May 28 and the games will be played in June, every 72 hours behind closed doors.
The second option is to start around June 6, where domestic and European competitions are played together in one block and the season finishes at the end of July.
All the games will be played behind closed doors.
Third case scenario: June 28
La Liga will take the whole month of July and August to complete the season.
Last game played: March 10
Current target date to resume: Three scenarios proposed
Will the season be voided? Leagues are committed to finishing
Financial cost to league: $1.808bn (£870m) if the season isn’t completed, $381m (£305m) if it’s completed behind closed doors, $163m (£130m) if it’s completed with fans in attendance.
Elsewhere: All Bundesliga clubs have resumed training with small groups of players, while the league’s board is exploring resuming matches behind closed doors on May 9.
The German league are expected to lose around $800m (£640m) if no more games are played.
France’s Ligue 1 are considering the remaining games to be played between June 17 and July 25, with playoff rounds concluding by August 2.
Financial impact globally
Burnley chairman Mike Garlick admitted last month that the Clarets could lose approximately $62.5 million (£50m) if the season were to be cancelled.
Manchester United could lose up to £106m if the season is declared null and void.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have become the first Premier League club where first-team players are expected to formally agree a 12.5% wage cut for the next year.
According to reports from The Sun, Chelsea stars have unanimously agreed to take a £10million hit for the next four months.
However, if the season is completed, the losses will be much smaller due to TV money being paid for games being broadcast.
In Spain, Football accounts for 1.37% of Spain’s GDP.
Spain’s clubs have already been given 90% of the TV money, and would be forced to repay some of that.
The La Liga would lose over $1bn (£870m) if the league isn’t completed, $381m (£305m) if it’s completed behind closed doors, $163m (£130m) if it’s completed with fans in attendance (which no one believes will be the case).