Opinion: World has changed - sport has to change too, and fast
Snooker and boxing have become the latest sports to return post lockdown – and reiterate the overwhelming truth that without spectators, the respective sports are distinctly lacking in something.
Post Covid-19 , when that eventually happens, a number of sports will have to take a long, hard look at themselves and effectively press the reset button.
After, in some cases, years of neglect, the respective sports need to realise the importance of the paying public and should never again take the fans for granted again.
Domestic football, for example, needs a complete overhaul. There is no doubt that with the predicted recession TV revenues will almost certainly decrease; therefore player wages and transfer budgets will also have to follow suit, perhaps the salary caps that successfully appear to work in US mainstream sports could be the answer?
One thing is for certain, if clubs don’t work within the realms of workable budgets, in the current climate and the uncertain financial situation, it could be a recipe for disaster right across the footballing spectrum.
Ticket prices, right across the domestic football spectrum, will have to be in keeping with the household budgets of the working classes.
Football is our national game and even at the very top, it should be affordable for all.
And that also should include the secondary revenue incomes. For example both Chelsea and Brighton employ the same kit provider, Nike, yet Chelsea’s 20-21 first team shirt costs on their website £65 and the Albion new shirt costs £52 on theirs.
The shirts are all made in the same part of the world by the same company, so why should Chelsea fans pay so much more?
I’ve no issue with Nike or the respective clubs making a profit, that’s business, but £13 difference for the effectively the same item, isn’t that profiteering?
Boxing is another sport that will have to cut its cloth accordingly.
I think it’s in for a huge wake-up call at the end of this month.
No boxing fan has any real qualms about having to pay to watch the likes of Fury vs Wilder, Joshua vs Klitschko or even Froch vs Groves, but Eddie Hearn trying to convince the public that Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin is worthy of a PPV billing typifies everything that is wrong with some aspects of sport on satellite TV.
I hope the returns, or lack of them at the end of the month, show Mr Hearn and Sky TV that particular gravy train has been well and truly derailed.
Whether the people in their ivory towers like it or not, post-Covid life is going to issue a lot of wake up calls right across the sporting world.