European Leagues to Discuss Options This Week
Football leagues across Europe have been put on hold following the outbreak of Coronavirus. There have been a lot of uncertainties surrounding how leagues will continue, with both league officials and football fans hoping to find a solution soon. Sports bookmakers are among the most impacted with the situation, but they are now offering other betting opportunities to keep players entertained.
The delay in European leagues remains without a clear outcome, but UEFA has already scheduled a meeting in the coming days to discuss the suspension. While the outbreak itself is still surrounded by many uncertainties, league officials are hoping to resolve the current suspension one way or another.
Leagues in Crisis
Officials from different countries are already proposing different solutions. Some focus more on health and will most likely suspend the league indefinitely following the outbreak. Others are worried about penalties and financial risks associated with suspending their leagues for a longer period of time, especially with contracts and obligations in place.
Italy, which has been dealing with close to 12,000 deaths following the pandemic, is the most likely to abandon their league entirely. The growing sentiment is for the league to be stopped at its present state and a new one started next year once the crisis is over.
“Let’s think about health now, we’ll talk about football later,” says Rocco Commisso, owner of Fiorentina football club. Many other team owners are stating a similar sentiment too. When you consider the outbreak that hit Italy and the severity of the crisis, a football league being suspended is the least of their problems.
That sentiment, however, isn’t shared by all. There are those whose financial future depends highly on football leagues moving forward as soon as late April. A small number of club owners in Italy are hoping to reach this resolution so that they can keep players and staff paid and not have to deal with other financial liabilities.
A Likely Debate
Other leagues are moving towards different directions. The Premier League is set to hold a conference call on Friday to resolve the suspension. Many team owners and stakeholders of the Premier League are considering resuming the league in May to maintain broadcast revenue. Several teams – and the league itself – depends highly on revenue from broadcasting rights, which makes resuming the season that much more critical.
One option being considered is resuming the season behind closed doors, with no live spectators watching the match. Television contracts can be saved, fans can still watch their favourite teams compete, and a winner will still be determined at the end of the league. This is perhaps the safest option in the current situation.
The option also looks good for bookmakers and the rest of the industry. Top bookmakers such as Nopeampi supports the idea while putting emphasis on the safety of players and officials. Nopeampi also releases offers to support sports punters and fans who are seeking new opportunities to place bets and have a lot of fun.
The future UEFA Champions League, which is also under suspension, will be decided on Wednesday (April 1st). Similar to the Premier League, resuming the Champions League behind closed doors is one of the solutions that will be discussed in the upcoming meeting. Following the UEFA’s decision, other leagues are more likely to decide their fate.
Other Leagues to Follow Suit
As mentioned before, many league officials are waiting for the UEFA meeting, which is scheduled for Wednesday. The German football league also considers resuming the Bundesliga in mid-May or mid-June while maintaining closed-door matches. There are 82 remaining matches in the league, including the German Cup semi-finals and final match.
In Spain, teams are more reluctant to continue before June while agreeing to one or two matches to keep the league going. Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu also agrees to a mid-July season restart, which is hoped to keep the Spanish league open to spectators. Other options such as playing the league behind closed doors aren’t considered to be attractive.
We are in a wait-and-see situation following the Coronavirus outbreak, but fans and officials alike are eager to see football matches being played again. Expect to hear more updates and news from various leagues around the world in the coming days.