Wednesday's soccer news starts with the always questionable financial situations for the 92 clubs in English professional soccer. Start at the bottom or the top, and the stories are similar relative to scale. Too many businesses not set up particularly well and dependent on maintaining or increasing the level of incoming revenue. Any decrease destabilizes the business, a serious concern in leagues where competing means spending.
Teams are struggling across the board with no games on the schedule. Last weekend's inability to convince players to accept reduced pay spoke to a larger problem when it comes to the current business model. With clubs normally owned by high wealth individuals or conglomerates, it's tough to make a meaningful appeal for economy a few weeks into a shutdown.
Meanwhile, the same constraints are still very much in play. Clubs are normally in interesting financial situations based on how much it costs to build a competitive squad balanced against the cost of failure. For clubs at the top of the Premier League, that's failure to qualify for the Champions League. For clubs at the top of the lower divisions, its failure to win promotion. For struggling clubs, it's the threat of relegation. All of these compound the financial difficulties with no salary caps, luxury taxes, and limited league controls to keep clubs from making questionable decisions.
The response from Premier League players to that 30% wage reduction makes sense considering the situation the clubs willingly embrace season after season. The money goes somewhere. The business side makes decisions that aren't necessarily economically sound in the best of times. Shedding payroll is an answer in the current situation, but it's not the only or best answer. As FourFourTwo's Seb Stafford-Bloor makes clear, the panic response in English professional soccer is enough of an indication of the larger problems. Whether or not this leads to anything is an open question, especially since few of these issues are new. Neither are the predictions for English professional football no longer pressing on with 92 clubs.
The Independent's Mark Critchley explains the uncertainty in the Championship. The Daily Mail's Ian Herbert also looks at the financial situation in the Football League. BBC Sport on Leeds United's financial losses last season. The NY Times' Tariq Panja has the Bundesliga's plans to restart the season.
Also in the soccer news, Scotland's lower divisions will vote to decide whether or not to cancel the remainder of the 2019-20 season. With Belgium set to end their season officially, Scotland's lower leagues could become the second to take that route. UEFA is pushing against domestic leagues going ahead and canceling, instead opting to wait and see if they can complete the 2019-20 schedule. The Scottish Premier League has not announced any plans to cancel the rest of its season.
"SPFL clubs are to vote on a resolution recommending the termination of the 2019/20 season in the Ladbrokes Championship, Ladbrokes League 1, and Ladbrokes League 2, with final season placings determined by points per game in league matches played to date by each club," their statement read. "The resolution also recommends that matches in the Ladbrokes Premiership remain postponed for the time being, to give the best possible opportunity for the remaining 2019/20 fixtures to be played. However, if the SPFL Board determines that the remaining Premiership matches cannot be played, the Ladbrokes Premiership would also be terminated, with final season placings determined on the same basis."
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