Categories: SS Columns

Is Football’s Engine Starting To Rev Once More?


Although the footballing world has been gripped by the coronavirus pandemic, there are some outposts that have managed to defy a hiatus in proceedings and because of this, interest in competitions such as the Taiwan Football League has increased dramatically.

However, any focus on fixtures being played in places such as Taiwan, Belarus or Nicaragua for that matter, can only be deemed as nothing more than a short-term fix and soon the global focus will shift back to the Premier League and the La Liga.

While it is their German cousins who look to be leading the way as far as resumption planning goes and with a request to restart the Bundesliga season at the start of May, it does seem that football is starting to wake from its lengthy slumber.

German has arguably dealt with this pandemic better than many of their European counterparts (although whether you want to include Belarus in that argument is up to you) and because of that, they are best placed to finish their remaining league schedule.

Of course, football is going to have a vastly different look to it and with any Bundesliga fixtures being played closed doors for the rest of the season, business may re-open, but it certainly will not be business as usual.

Without supporter attendance and the vast matchday revenue that is accrued, this has the potential to cause something of a financial black hole and Bundesliga clubs such as Bayern Munich, will be keen to open their stadium doors as soon as possible.

However, the decision to open the Allianz Arena, is not one that the Bayern board will be able to make anytime soon and with safety being the fundamental issue, supporters may have to prepare for a 2020 shutout.

When it comes to Bayern and their nearest rivals RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund, there will certainly have enough Euro in the bank account at present and will therefore be able to absorb the loss of matchday revenue.

With that said, they are not immune to financial loss either and with the transfer window ready to be opened within the next few months, any spending power they once possessed, will now be substantially diminished.

While although the German giants will be able to muddle through, the same might not be said for teams lower down the table and when you consider the likes of Paderborn, Mainz 05 or Union Berlin, they will need their supporters back sooner rather than later.

Whether they can last this calendar year and beyond, is a question that no-one wants to try and answer and in their pursuit of top flight status, the wage bill has needed to be higher, in order to compete with the more established names in the division.

One unnamed chairman was recently quoted as saying “we are set to lose a substantial six-figure sum for every empty stadium fixture” and this unsurprisingly, is a business model that cannot be sustained long-term.

However, there is at least an overwhelming sense of trying to get life back to normal, or at least a new normal and if the German Government do give the greenlight to a Bundesliga restart, it will provide something of a feelgood factor.

While if the Bundesliga does resume, then other major European leagues will take encouragement and look to finish their own domestic seasons – something that has already been mooted by the English F.A.

The conclusion of league campaigns before August, is somewhat necessary and with the European Championships being pushed back a year, the last thing that UEFA will need are further delays to their crown jewel.

Delays that could come around if the respective 2019/20 campaigns are not concluded by the deadline that UEFA have now put in place and therefore, the football fraternity is now starting to wake up across Europe.

Whether you deem sport important in a time such as this can be contested, but football especially plays a massive part in people’s lives and supporters across the continent, will want something to look forward to.

The world may be changing around us and the beautiful game, may have a slightly different look but now more than ever, you get a feeling and it is a good one, that a resumption in action, is not all that far away.

Balachandran B

Co-founder & Head of Operations @ SoccerSouls Sports Network. Nick Name: Jin. Favorite Sports team: Arsenal Follow me @Jin

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