…And Then The Coronavirus (Covid-19) Happened

“Soccer’s next challenge after Covid-19 is figuring out how to handle the financial devastation, however it can be done if all sides truly get down and work together.”

It sucks I know! Soccer has been shut down all over the world for over a month now. Many are now asking what will be the financial impact on soccer in general? How can the administrators at every level make sure that everyone comes back to play the game when this outbreak is over?

This pandemic has impacted youth soccer, leaving around 6.8 million youth soccer players and 122,000 coaches missing the excitement of the game.

There is no doubt at all that there will be a massive fall out when the COVID-19 virus will be out the door. Not only in soccer but in all youth sports, the financial costs will be total.

Every families situation is very unique. For many families, they may need the funds that they’ve invested in their children’s soccer dreams to cover other vital expenses that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown.In any case parents who do not need those funds to seriously consider the financial livelihood of their children’s soccer program (club and/or academy).

The financial drainage will soon be spread throughout the economy and it will be more difficult for youth soccer clubs and academies to receive funds also from their various commercial sponsors it will be more and more difficult for these organizations to help cover the coaching and rental expenses.

“If the situation is not crank up,by the end of May, then we’re going to see some tremendous losses, clubs folding simply because they’re not going to have time for those events that have qualifiers, including tryout chaos where every club will be trying to pull a tryout before any of the surrounding clubs.
Us as an advanced academy are out of this possible “Cat Fight” and we certainly don’t want to put our academy members into an environment where their health and their family’s (also the health of our coaches) are at risk. And that’s a hairline that youth soccer clubs are walking on right now.”

The Associated Press in a recent article reported that participation in team sports during the great recession dropped 45 percent in 2008 and the numbers went down an additional 7% in 2009, not to recover till 2014. According to MSNBC, the possible 2020 recession should be a lot more significant than what we witnessed back in 2008.

This global pandemic could (not to be too pessimistic and say WILL) be just the thing that youth soccer needs to make things even worse than they actually were.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering designated states and territories a $10,000 grant for working capital needs of small businesses suffering substantial financial hardship as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This however leaves out all “Non-Profit” organizations. 95% of youth soccer clubs (even the largest state-spread) are in fact “Non-Profit”. Our academy however is a registered LLC and will benefit from this grant if needed.

Will the kids be heading back to their clubs and academies?

Our children did not grow up in households where grandparents told tales of attending soccer games from the 50’s, The MLS wasn’t even around back then. Soccer is still way too young in the US, so an infectious financial destabilization has started spreading across all the leagues, from local all the way through the national leagues, the USSDA shut down and I can assume that other giants such as the NPL or ECNL are taking a punch or two from the events.

Each club, organization, environment, and market is different , but trying to survive the financial epidemic requires a lot of planning so that you’re ready once the pandemic stabilizes and eventually we can all get back on the training and game-day fields.

While over two dozen European teams have stepped up to help financially youth soccer clubs (and not just their own “brand”), nothing has happened like this in the US. Some pro-teams are actually in line asking for a handout from the federal government.

“This pandemic, the COVID-19 deadly virus, can’t be allowed to weaken the efforts of so many who have grown the game of soccer.
Our academy has already placed a Post-Pandemic plan in action. I hope that many other youth soccer organizations have done the same!”