- The sports industry has suffered immensely because of the Covid-19 pandemic
- The pandemic has financially impacted Arsenal, leading to cutting the jobs of 55 of its non-playing staff members
- Major international sports events have been rescheduled due to the catastrophe caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The COVID-19 effect continues to ripple through the world's health, educational, financial, and commercial institutions, and the sports ecosystem is no different. The non-stop sports entertainment has come to a halt. Losing a significant amount of revenues has affected sports and entertainment in the worst possible manner.
In the months to come, the world will start adapting to live a new normal life. But the sports industry will continue to be under stress. People will be wearing masks, gloves, and practising social distancing norms, even once the economy is fully opened. However, the question arises whether the sporting world will be able to cope with their operations post the pandemic period.
Arsenal, which recently delegated FA Cup champions, has planned to cut the position of 55 non-playing staff members due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Arsenal has decided to make this move because its revenue has reduced to more than what the club had anticipated. Earlier, in April 2020, Arsenal had reduced the salary of head coach Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard, along with the Gunner's first-team players, had taken 12.5 per cent salary cut. Also, Arsenal's executive staff agreed to give up more than a third of their salaries over the next 12 months.
The club has now decided to take some more measures to reduce the costs in the wake up lower than expected revenues from the season.
Impact of Covid-19 on Various Sports Events
Major international sports events have been rescheduled due to the catastrophe caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Recently, Japan, which was the hosting country of Tokyo Olympics 2020, postponed the mega event to be held from 23 July 2021 to 8 August 2021, in the wake of the novel coronavirus. Several countries have signalled that they would not be sending players to the mega event, which was initially planned for July 2020 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). A plethora of restrictions on global travel has made it nearly impossible to even get to the competition.
- On 23 June 20202, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced that Bangladesh's test tour to New Zealand, which was supposed to take place in August 2020, has been cancelled.
- Sri Lanka's two-test matches series were scheduled to take place in March 2020 in
England has been rescheduled for January 2021.
- The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) postponed the Indian Premier League (IPL), the richest cricket league in the world, for September 2020.
- The International Cricket Council (ICC) is likely to postpone the ICC World T20 to 2021, which was scheduled in October 2020.
- In June 2020, Australia postponed the test tour to Bangladesh.
- The Confederation of African Football (CAF) postponed the two-legged semi-finals of African Champion League on 12 April 2020. It was scheduled for May 2020.
- The CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) have also been suspended. It was supposed to take place from 4 June 2020 to 7 June 2020.
- On 17 March 2020, the African Football Federation postponed the African Nations Championship 2020, scheduled to take place in Cameroon in April 2020.
- Two rounds of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers scheduled for 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020, has been postponed by the Confederation of African Football.
- The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has planned to furlough 50 per cent of its staffs and postpone approximately 900 tournaments all across its circuits.
- On 1 April 2020, the All England Club announced the cancellation of the 2020 Wimbledon tennis championships.
- The French Open scheduled to take place from 24 May 2020 to 7 June 2020 has been postponed and rescheduled for 20 September 2020 to 4 October 2020.
The fans have been left disappointed because of the suspension and postponement of sporting activities. Most of the sports are generally played in front of a packed stadium. With social distancing being the need of the hour, the players will not be getting the satisfaction of enthralling the full-house arena as they would be forced to play in front of empty stands. Even if the governments allow spectators, it would not be anywhere close to the full-house.
Impact on the Economy
The motivation of countries to host sporting events is mostly economic prosperity. The number of foreign visitors could contribute to the development of the tourism sector. However, international events could also damage the traditional tourism industry. Developed economies are likely to gain more benefits by hosting such events in comparison to emerging nations. Since they already have the required infrastructure and therefore, they incur less expense in carrying out events. On the other hand, emerging countries must invest a lot in developing the infrastructure, and they are more likely to see their cost structure blow out of proportion.
Recent Development in the UK Sports Industry
Cricket resumed in England from 8 July 2020, after a long period of time. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) planned to host Pakistan and West Indies in July and August. The games were scheduled at Old Trafford and Ageas Bowl, as they are considered bio-secure and have on-site hotels.
The crisis has come on hard and fast. A major aspect of life had changed comprehensively when professional sports were put on hold, and it has shocked many. The businesses have already incurred a lot of expenses in acquiring the sponsorships of the mega sports events and might have to shed more money due to delaying of the games. The postponement of these events has left several businesses in the dark. But we have been hoping for the day when teams once again take their positions on the field, and the sports industry becomes a joyful business as earlier.
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