“The ball is still rolling on the pitch in Belarus”
Who would ever thought that FC Minsk vs Dynamo Minsk would be the only match broadcasting in Europe? The Belarus Premier League is still playing. The derby of Minsk with an attendance of 3000 inside the stadium, attracted also foreign watchers. Someone even entitled it as the “the only football match on the earth”. With fans all around the world left with nothing to watch, Belarus Football Federation secured broadcasting deals with sports network from 10 countries, including Israel and Russia. The rest of the top European clubs have to deal with the economic consequences of the pandemic: FC Barcelona has been the first team in Spain to consider alleviating the economic impact by cutting up to 70% of their players’ salaries as the lockdown lasts. This intention would apply to every player in the teams inside the Catalan’s conglomerate (Basket team and Women team as well). Lionel Messi himself announced that the cut of the salary would allow the 100% of the salary for all staff members of the company, this way all the members of the company would still have their paid job. La Liga’s teams of Espanyol and Atletico Madrid announced that cuts will be applied especially to those members of the staff who received a big reduction impact on the working hours. There are no details of the extent of the cuts applied.
Germany’s giants of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have already agreed to 20% wagecuts while the season is put on hold by the Covid-19 crisis. Title contenders of Borussia Monchengladbach saw a volunteer approach by the players themselves proposing a salary cut. This move made the rest of the staff to join them. But, besides this internal club’s issues, Major German’s clubs decided to take care of German Football. Indeed, the top four clubs of the league, which were participants of the current Champion’s League, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig, will finance smaller clubs with 20 million euros in order to help them cope this lockdown situation. This money will be collected by foregoing next year’s TV rights revenue.
Meanwhile no agreement has been taken in the UK for the Premier League, but the idea of players cutting their wages, following the previously mentioned European Examples, seems maturing day by day. The FA, EFL and Premier League are outlining a strategy which promises “difficult decisions”. Yes, economical system is facing up to a huge crisis… but, at the moment, it is more important to help the medical emergency. There are numerous initiatives in sports industry that are trying to tighten around the NHS. Arsenal donated to the local charities and organizations. Barcelona, Manchester City and other big clubs are offering their facilities to host medical emergency structures.
Athletes around the world are giving their support. La Liga players, combining with singers, joined La Liga Santander Fest and helped in raising more than 600k euros. Tennis star Rafa Nadal and NBA hero Paul Gasol launched new fundraising with the aim to reach over 11 million Euros to help Spain, one of the most hit countries by the outbreak. With the season put on hold and the entertainment moved on the virtual racing, Formula 1 announces that their 7 teams based in UK will join together ‘Project Pitlane’. Their skills and abilities in developing new technologies will be used in the production of ventilators in response of the government’s call for companies to provide assistance due to the Covid-19 emergency in UK. NFL draft appears to move on this April despite the Coronavirus break. The audience will not be allowed, but the display will be broadcasted on television. However, fundraising will still happen in relation to the event in order to show a charitable effort for those impacted by the pandemic.