Sport in the period after COVID-19
Sport in the period after COVID-19
Recommendations to support sporting budgets and financial resilience after COVID-19.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has plagued the world for the past few weeks and months has not only had a significant impact on public health, society and the economy as a whole, but has also caused major losses in the field of sports. Therefore, in these moments it is correct that people (experts) dealing with problems in sport give their guidance and recommendations on finding ways to stabilise the sport sector in these difficult times. In an effort to prevent the spread of the virus, many professional and amateur leagues on all continents and from all sports have taken the responsible step to delay or suspend their competitive seasons to avoid mass gatherings of sports events, and the further spread of the virus.
Sports in the world during a pandemic
It was preceded by a Champions League match between FC Atalanta and FC Valencia in Spain, which, according to Italian epidemiologist Francesco le Focke, seems to be the key to the mass spread of the coronavirus in Bergamo, Italy. The seriousness of the situation is confirmed by the International Olympic Committee, which due to the pandemic, officially postponed the start of the Summer Olympic Games, for the first time in its modern history. Earlier, three Olympics were cancelled due to the First and Second World Wars in 1916, 1940 and 1944. Also, UEFA decided to delay the most prestigious football competition on the European continent - EURO 2020 a year.
Several guidelines for the development of sports in the future
After all, the theory says that there are two kinds of help the sport, such as:
- Direct assistance from the budget through subsidies and scholarships, and
- Indirect assistance through tax incentives, encouraging cooperation between the economy and sports sector for the development of sport.
The fact is that government institutions will be best placed to help the sports sector in the future . However, before all sport associations and teams start addressing problems to government institutions, it would be correct to ask whether (and how much) the state is now ready to meet their financial needs. It would be correct to ask ourselves whether (and how much) the state is now financially ready to help, and whether that is enough.
Sport is always ready to promote its own popularity among people. For these reasons, I will share a few guidelines that might be helpful for the development of sport in the forthcoming period.
The first recommendation is that the athletes themselves could best help raise the sport to the required level. This can be achieved through direct financial assistance from them (especially influential sports professionals) or by giving up some of the finances that are part of their engagement.
The second recommendation is aimed at sports clubs to give greater importance and emphasis on youth athletes who should be properly treated and educated in a proper way for future sports stars. On the one hand, this would drastically reduce the annual budgets of sports clubs, especially in costs associated with athletes on higher monthly payments, but on the other hand, will be a strong incentive to promote new sports talents and stars, both from a sports and economic point of view (transfer market). It is time for a salary cap in European sport following the example of the NBA.
A third recommendation, which should be supported by the previous one, is for sports clubs to base their future planning on the engagement of domestic professionals and highly educated people in the field of sports. Every country has such staff, sports workers or real professionals with integrity and the necessary knowledge and skills for management in sport.
The fourth recommendation is to raise self-awareness about the love of sports through buying tickets to attend sports events (daily, seasonal, individual or family tickets), buying sports products from the sports club, buying souvenirs from the sports club, thus helping the sports club itself. In these moments of isolation and quarantine, each of us sees the importance of watching sports matches, which we really miss a lot.
The COVID-19 pandemic brings changes in our consciousness, in our workplaces and in our community. From all this sport should come out stronger. After all, it is the role of sport. Stay for the social distance, stay safe, stay strong.
Prof. Dr. Ivan Anastasovski works at Saints Cyril and Methodius University, Faculty of physical education, sport and health in Skopje, Macedonia. Geostrategic Institute GLOBAL.