If Sport Is A Business…..

The title of this blog should simply finish and it runs smoothly, but as we are all becoming increasingly aware it is far from the truth, sport is in turmoil with major losses across many of our favourite sports, with football been the worst example of them all.

An individual example could be seen as a one off, something to use as a model to allow sports and their teams to work to the opposite regime.

The list is not endless but it should scare the living daylights out of many a sports fans as many have been exposed in only recent months and need addressing quickly especially in the current economic downturn we find ourselves experiencing, how long before sport seeks to tighten its belt like we have had to?

Football is the blatant example but looking at sport on a whole many others have followed this poor example, some of these examples are explained below;

  • Pakistan lost approx $40 million after having to cancel a recent home cricket test series against India had to be cancelled due to terrorism threats.
  • The cost of England holding the 2012 Olympics has risen by £196 million over the past 12-18 months.
  • Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers are seeking Chinese investment to aid rising costs in NBA Basketball in America.
  • Port Adelaide Australian Rules Football team have recently had $2.5 million funding to help eradicate debts of over $5 million
  • Formula 1 has set a budget cap of £40 million for the 2010 racing season due to the finances currently been used drying up
  • Football has many examples; Manchester United are £700 million in debt, Accrington Stanley are facing a winding up order, Southampton are in administration and Newcastle United have been relegated with a wage bill of £74 million

The big question remains; how can sport be competitive whilst running within the individual teams or sports financial constraints?

If I knew the answer for all of these sports to be controlled financially, I’m sure I could be a multi-millionaire. Governing bodies controlling these sports have to intervene and set stringent control measures for its association members to operate within.

Formula 1 has proven that teams will tow the line when these controls are put in place and this has also happened in Rugby League where wage expenditure is only allowed up to a percentage of total turnover, the Super League (Rugby League’s top division) has now become more competitive.

Time will tell if these two examples can be followed but I for one long for the days when sport was run as a sport as it was competitive, run properly (except for the brown envelope bung generation) and debts to the magnitude that we see today were non-existent.

Life without sport would be unbearable, I know it is not the be all and end all of life, but it plays a big part and with many sports running at such high levels of debt it will only be a matter of time before some of sports major names go bust!

Let us hope this is not what is needed to put sport on the straight and narrow.

Thanks for reading.



P.s. Well done to the Netherlands Cricket team on beating England in the opening fixture of the ICC Cricket T20 World Cup by 4 wickets.

As an England fan it was disappointing to see the team turn up and believe they could win. Hard work, composure and commitment were obviously lacking and the Netherlands showed these qualities in abundance.

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