Due to recent events, there is basically no industry left untouched by COVID-19. And while some used this period to develop as a business by going online and focusing on the digital market, other industries like sports didn’t really have that opportunity. Even though a lot of sports have developed digital versions of matches and playoffs that definitely doesn’t compensate for the lack of sports events and championships.
Because of this football all around the world has been facing all sorts of issues and now as the situation is getting more or less stable they need help in recovering and going back to the normal lifestyle. And Italian football is no exception to that. The President of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has called on the Italian government to donate a percentage of sports betting revenue to support clubs during the new coronavirus outbreak.
And in order to make this possible, the football league asked the government to remove ad and sponsorship bans and relax its rules that have to do with online gambling for real money to help the sport recover from the crisis and generate revenues. According to Calvinayre, Serie A even went as far as asking for the prohibition on gambling advertising and sponsorships to be lifted entirely. This is because the sponsorship ban alone, which was launched last summer, is projected to cost Serie A teams around €100 million in lost revenue on an annual basis.
But because of the different restrictions that all have to do with the outbreak, all the matches have been canceled and the league and its teams are set to be hit very hard due to the lost revenue from ticket sales and concessions in addition to TV fees.
Because of this, according to an Italian newspaper Gazzetta Dello Sport, Gabriele Gravina’s proposed ‘save football’ fund would comprise 1% (€104 million) of sports betting revenue generated in the entire country.
Gravina has also stated that they can’t really ask the government for money because they know there are other, more important things they need to be focusing on right now. The only thing they are asking for is the establishment of a fund with resources from the FIGC which will create important resources that must come from betting. He also added that “There is a European Union resolution that says that copyright on betting must be protected. France already applies 1% and the same thing has been asked for by the NBA.”
This fund is overall a good idea as it will support both professional and amateur clubs in Italy, where top-notch football has been suspended for the foreseeable future following the outbreak. It will also help stimulate the recovery process not only for football but for other sports too such as basketball, baseball, etc. It will give more and more people access to the games that will help them overcome these difficult times as well. And the good thing is that this change doesn’t have to be permanent. It will be over once it has done its job which would be helping sports in recovering from the cancellation of matches and the sudden stop of the season.