The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a serious impact on everyone’s daily life, especially in Europe. Some of the main countries to suffer are also home to the leading football leagues in Europe.
Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the United Kingdom have been battling hard against the virus, with some drastic social measures introduced to try and help slow down the spread of COVID-19.
While it may seem poor timing to discuss what the future holds for the football leagues in these countries, peoples livelihoods are at stake. In addition, it would seem like a return to some degree of normality should professional football resume across Europe.
However, there is no doubt the suspension of the leagues due to the outbreak of COVID-19 will have an impact once they resume. How will football sponsorship and spending across the leagues have changed following the COVID-19 outbreak?
UEFA are committed to try and bring the current major European football season to an end by the 30th of June. There is a good reason for that as there are several legal issues should this fail to happen. Some involve out of contract players and managers, which will also have an impact on transfers.
In terms of finance, bonus payments to players will need to be considered and if they remain on the books of a club beyond the end of their contract, who is going to be responsible for their wages?
Clubs are also vulnerable to losing money from sponsors such as those who advertise around the edge of the pitch during a match. As there are no games being played at the time of writing, so any of the sponsors who have already paid for advertising boards during matches are now getting nothing for their money.
A knock on effect of this will be that the sponsors are not getting any exposure for their brand during his period of time and will therefore be reluctant to renew the deal and make another payment. Those payments which are already in place could also be defaulted which will leave the clubs out of pocket.
Many of the top professional football clubs will already have taken these sponsorship payments into account for their books. Not receiving this money could be a disaster for many of those who are relying on it to help pay players and staff.
Sponsorship deals on football shirts could also come under threat. However, there are many deals in place involving gambling companies, many of which run a live online casino. Online casinos have been able to continue trading during this difficult time and many people have enjoyed using them as a means of escape from daily life. Therefore, this could be one area of football sponsorship which remains in-tact.
However, another aspect of football club finances which is sure to be affected is transfers. Many clubs will have lost a significant amount of money and could be struggling to meet the demands of their player and staff wages.
Given the circumstances, it is highly unlikely any of these teams are going to be looking to spend great sums of money in the transfer market. This will see a significant reduction in the number of clubs making transfer deals and could see the value of players drop.
These all are all possibilities but we will only know the true changes to football sponsorship and spending across the leagues once we start getting back to normality.