Coronavirus: Impact on sport

Categories: Salford Business School

The postponement of Euro 2020 is just the latest in a series of decisions which has decimated the sporting calendar in the wake of coronavirus. 

Nicola McCullough, sports events expert in the University of Salford Business School, said: “The postponement of so much enjoyment and leisure time for thousands of people in the UK with the cancellation of so many different sport of all levels is significant.

“It is not just the intangible impact that has been eroded from people’s lives for the short term – that feel good factor, that lifestyle choice, that sense of belonging - but also the cost of this from an economic and social impact perspective too.

“The announcement today of the European Football Championships moving to 2021 is a huge and complex logistical operation to ensure that the event planning is sound. However, it is the economic impact of the employment status of an estimated 400 staff for the event, the tourism spend, broadcasting revenues, the direct and indirect spending in country and the suppliers who will be the losers in the immediate short term.

“The positivity around moving the dates is very much to allow the end of so many European domestic leagues to complete their seasons in the right way but this is at a very significant cost to UEFA, the host countries and current employees of the event, many of whom will be industry freelancers. The sports events industry has its challenges but it generally perceived as agile and innovating yet in these unprecedented times it is not able to play on its strengths.

“Sports events feature as part of so many of our lives – whether it be through employment, enjoyment, engagement or entertainment - but as we await the next big announcement as to whether the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead, will it be the sole mega event remaining in the calendar for a summer of sport? Don’t we need something to look forward to as sporting fans?”

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