Leading sports lawyer Richard Cramer believes that British sport is facing a financial armageddon with no end in sight to the coronavirus crisis. Cramer, who is the managing partner of Front Row Legal in Leeds predicts sport in the UK, will never see the same amount of broadcasting and sponsorship revenues again.
He points out that broadcasters and sponsors will be tightening their belts and combined with the lack of match-day revenues will be a reality check for wages that he spiralled out of control.
Leading Championship football clubs are considering a plan to cap wages at £6,000 a week while League One and League Two Clubs are also considering wage reductions.
Premiership Rugby sides including Wasps, Saracens, Worcester and Gloucester announced on Friday that they were cutting salaries by 25 per cent in a bid stay afloat.
While Super League players could be asked to defer part of their wages with clubs set to lose millions while the game is closed down.
“In football, the bubble has burst, when we think of all the TV money, sponsorship money, clubs being owned by countries, the billions floating around,” Cramer told Express Sport.
“We were all wondering if one day the bubble would burst, well that bubble has burst, football and sport in this lifetime now will probably never see the level of money that has been swelling around.
“Sponsors and broadcasters aren’t going to be throwing all of the money they had at sport because they are going to take hits. It’s carnage.
“It is life-changing, game-changing, Rugby League might go back to being part-time because Sky might not be able to afford to pay the level of money they have been if they have to make cutbacks.
“We may end up depending on how long it goes on see the likes of Rugby League and Rugby Union going backwards by 25 years plus too when they were part-time.
“Over the last few years you have seen wages spiral out of control every year going up and up those days have finished now this is a reality check,” he said.
Cramer believes predictions that social distancing will be needed for most of the year means it’s very difficult to see when sport will return to society.
“Social distancing restrictions could be in place for most of the year so forget crowds going to a game – players won’t be able to play a game because they are going to have to keep their distance.
“It is going to be months and months before we start getting back to some form of normality; this is game-changing.
“This isn’t like the winter to end all winters and games being called off, they would eventually play those games, but with this, we don’t know when it will finish.”
“The longer this goes on its going to be more challenging to restore anything to normal.
“And if we start going into six months, the government will have bigger priorities than saving sports clubs. It’s biggest priority will be saving the economy,” he adds.
Published at Sat, 21 Mar 2020 22:30:00 +0000