Joaquín Muñoz, Director of ONTIER's Digital Law department and Vice-President of the Madrid Sports Law Association, has been consulted by the newspaper specialising in legal information Confilegal on the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures adopted to combat it have had on the management and finances of professional sports entities.
Joaquín Muñoz points out that 'as has happened in all industries affected by the closures and capacity reductions resulting from the health crisis, the sports industry, and specifically football, is suffering from the reduction in direct and indirect income related to stadium operations on match days.'
'Fortunately, preventive measures have allowed the continuity of competitions and safeguarded one of the main streams of income, which is broadcasting rights,' he explains.
Speaking of professional football, 'unlike in other environments such as the hotel and catering industry or artistic performances, the factor that comes into play when it comes to sports is that the teams affected, provided they can ensure their viability, will feel the impact of the lack of income from these concepts in a similar proportion to their budget,' he says.
'Therefore, the inequality that the pandemic may generate will not, in my opinion, be greater than that already existing in pre-pandemic budgets, although it is possible that smaller clubs will suffer more from the loss of sponsorship due to the crisis,' states Joaquín Muñoz for Confilegal.
In his opinion, 'expenses control will be key, where transfers and the reduction of salaries of first team professionals are specially important.'
'The teams that have added to this situation a debt based on future income beyond that generated by audiovisual rights, sponsorships or sporting awards may find themselves in a complicated situation in the coming years.'
In the opinion of ONTIER's head of Digital Law, 'it seems clear that, with the measures and capacity reductions that the restrictions will allow on the road back to 'normality', clubs will have to adapt to a situation unknown until now, prioritising the safety of athletes and fans.'
He also recalls that 'one of the activities that we are all missing is going back to the stadiums to enjoy live football' and, from his point of view, 'the recovery of this income derived from the activity in stadiums by clubs will be quick and proportional to the capacity that is allowed at each moment, so the clubs will have to innovate in the pre- and post-match offer to encourage the hesitant fans to return to the stadiums and to encourage consumption and spending on match day.'
Finally, he points out that 'surely in this innovation, technologies such as big data can come into play to fine-tune the offer adjusted to the real demand and virtual reality can, little by little, bring the fans back to the 'match experience' and to the get in touch with sponsors, guaranteeing the best possible security for them.'
The full article is available here: