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How coronavirus affects football

The outbreak of coronavirus has had a tremendous impact on sports activities, especially football. Most football leagues across Europe must be considered to postpone or play without spectators to limit the spread of the virus.

Last updated: 11.05.2020
Coronavirus and Football | Sports Social Blog

The outbreak of coronavirus has had a tremendous impact on sports activities, especially football. As a result, most football leagues across Europe must be considered to postpone or play without spectators to limit the spread of the virus. Besides, players’ lives are also affected because of the lockdown and even some of them tested positive for the virus. Every business realted to sports is affected.

Postpone, cancel and reschedule football tournaments 

The Premier League

On its home page, the Football Association in England (FA) said that the tournament such as the FA Cup and Premier League will be postponed to at least April 30th. The FA also affirmed that English football is in an unprecedented crisis. So, they have agreed to find ways to organize the 2019/2020 football season as soon as the pandemic has been controlled.  

The Premier League has been postponed due to the pandemic.

Previously, because coach Arteta (Arsenal) and player Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea) tested positive for Covid-19, the FA has decided to postpone matches at the professional leagues in the UK and will only reopen on April 3rd. However, this has officially been extended. At present, the Premier League has reached the 29th round and needs nine more rounds to finish the season. Liverpool is the leading team with 82 points. They just need two more victories to officially win the Premier League title after 30 years of waiting.


In a meeting of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) with 55 Associations members on March 17th, the decision to postpone Euro 2020 to the summer of 2021 was officially announced due to the influence of the Covid-19. The new schedule for this football event will be from 11th June to 11th July 2021. This means the countries in the region will have one more year to get the most thorough preparation for the Euro 2021 finals. 

After the meeting with UEFA on the postponement of Euro 2020, the organizers and executives of the leading European leagues such as England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany will meet to decide the schedule of the tournament. The delay can even be extended if the disease continues to be complicated. 

La Liga

After realizing that the Covid-19 pandemic is getting worse, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and the La Liga’s Organizing Committee has decided to postpone this tournament and other professional tournaments in Spain until further notice. According to the RFEF, these tournaments are only reorganized when the Covid-19 pandemic is under control.

One of Spain’s biggest tournaments has to be postponed until further notice

Some La Liga teams are badly affected by the pandemic. Valencia has 35% of players and staff tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus. Alaves has 15 cases of infections. For Real Madrid, former president Lorenzo Sanz passed away and another former president, Fernando Martin Álvarez has been admitted to hospital due to coronavirus.

During the postponement period, players in La Liga organized a FIFA tournament to raise funds and support disease prevention in La Liga. The champion in the tournament was Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio.  

Serie A

During an emergency meeting on the evening of 9th March, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte decided to postpone all sporting events in this country to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Serie A tournament is no exception. 

The latest round in Serie A saw several matches taking place without spectators, typically the competition between Juventus and Inter Milan. Many players in Serie A object to the decision to play due to coronavirus, while the clubs do not want to play without spectators because of heavy financial impact. 

Financial impact

Most players in the Premier League enjoy high salaries, which comes from the favorable business condition of the clubs here. The revenue from television broadcasting rights, ticket sales and retail business help the Premier League make a lot of profit. However, all quickly collapsed when the tournament had to be postponed because of the disease outbreak in Europe.

A lot of football teams are facing the risk of financial difficulty 

According to Sportsmail calculations, Premier League clubs will suffer hundreds of millions of pounds in case the tournament cannot be returned. If the worst-case happens, Manchester United will be the team suffering the most. They are estimated to lose about 116.4 million pounds, next are Manchester City (109.3), Liverpool (102.6) and Chelsea (91). 

Earlier this week, CEO of the Premier League Richard Masters warned that the tournament could lose more than $1.23 million because of the current disease crisis. Burnley president Mike Garlick said that if the Premier League does not return soon, the team will deal with bankruptcy. In case the tournament is canceled, Burnley has to suffer a loss of up to $60.2 million, including TV broadcasting rights and ticket sales. This leads to the risk that Burnley could not pay players and staff salaries. Indeed Burnley is not the only Premier League club in this situation. Even with some other clubs, their bankruptcy may come earlier than Burnley.

A few clubs in the UK have implemented a plan to reduce players’ salaries and received agreements like Southampton or West Ham. However, some other teams are having problems with player salaries such as Arsenal. According to the Daily Mail, the players of Arsenal do not accept proposals to reduce wages from the leadership. They want to continue to receive their salaries and will take a part to support UK health agencies in combating the pandemic.

Players of Arsenal do not accept proposals to reduce wages from the leadership

Arsenal will continue to discuss with the players about the issue of wage reduction next week. If the consensus is not reached, the team leader will have another option to ensure that the club does not have to face the financial crisis. One of the main priorities is to consider reducing the overall salary if they lost the ticket to the Champions League next season.

Coronavirus is affecting every aspect of human life. Sports and football are no exception. Apart from affecting the football teams, the lives of football players also have many changes. They self-isolate and practice at home. As a result, football fans all over the world may have to wait a long time to watch football matches from their favorite teams and players.

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