Barbados stronger, more-balanced for Netball World Cup

By July 03, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Opinion: Like Mongrels growling over Liver - Players' Association advice unconscionable Opinion: Like Mongrels growling over Liver - Players' Association advice unconscionable

    The 20 clubs in the English Premier League, EPL are together losing about US$31 million each weekend that action in the globe’s most-watched sporting competition is suspended. That figure covers matchday related income alone. Television rights account for the bulk of EPL teams’ earnings and collectively, the suspension in play, induced by COVID 19,  is causing the teams to lose an estimated US$920 million. That’s a revenue bleed that no financial analyst would have ever seen in their career, let alone having a strategy to staunch.

    Every player in the first team squad of an EPL team is a millionaire. Every. Single. One. There are 512 players listed in the first team squads of all 20 EPL sides, an average of about 26 players for each club.

    Manchester City’s 24-man first-team squad is paid an average basic wage of US$8.73 million each, the highest average in the league. Manchester United, which has the highest overall wage bill at US$396 million, pays its 27 first teamers an average of US$7.66 million each. At the bottom of the payscale is Sheffield United, which pays each of its 22 first teamers a basic average salary of US$910,000, while just above them is Norwich City, which pays its 27 first teamers a basic average wage of US$1.2 million each.

    But enough of those big numbers for the moment. The point being made is that EPL players are among the best-remunerated individuals in the global workforce, regardless of industry. The basic wages paid to them comfortably eclipses the wage-plus-bonus-plus-benefits package taken home by some well-paid professionals in other fields. That is why so many people are disappointed at the refusal by EPL players, through their union, the Professional Footballers Association, PFA, to take a pay cut and allow their clubs to breathe in this moment.

    Indeed 92% of participants in a recent YouGov survey believe EPL players should take a pay cut in this difficult time, with another 67% saying the players should surrender at least half of their salaries. 

    People are not stupid. They know greed when they see it. And already, many on that red hot spit known as social media are roasting players for putting greed above benevolence, compassion and basic humanity.

    They ask, how can these players continue demanding their hefty paycheques when many people who work in the unglamorous roles in professional football face the stark reality of being laid off by their struggling employers?

    Indeed, the man leading the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), Gordon Taylor has given life to the term irony by his staunch defence of the players’ rights to not have a dollar docked from their salaries. Taylor himself is a man who lives high on the hog. Afterall he can afford to.

    In 2017, the now 75-year-old was paid a salary of US$2.7 million. No wonder that in this situation he guards his players’ interests like a mongrel, growling as he protects a piece of liver from a pesky fowl in his master’s yard. 

    As Premier League officials meet with club executives and the PFA to reach a common position on wages, the Tottenham Hotspur chairman, Daniel Levy has made a clever move in what appears to be a chess match with his own players.

    Levy announced that 550 non-playing staff had agreed to a 20% cut in their wages. He says the move allows the club to keep them all in employment during this period. Levy is among the 550. This move is no doubt intended to guilt trip Jose Mourinho and the 25 members of his first-team squad to do what the cleaning lady, kit man, groundsman, tea lady, club steward and janitor at Spurs have all done.

    Levy never does anything without calculating the ramifications down to the last decimal point.

    In announcing the pay cut, he exhorted players to do their bit to protect jobs. In other words, if Spurs’ players refuse to give up some of their wages, then the tears of any janitor, cleaner or groundsman who gets sent home for good in this period, will be on the players’ expensively clothed shoulders.

    Haters need no invitation to criticise footballers for what they earn and how they live. But this situation is different.

    Habitual haters apart, well-thinking folks are also disgusted that almost a month after COVID 19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO, the richest among us are having to be cajoled into giving up some of their earnings to allow businesses to establish a form of balance in this period of disequilibrium.

    Per capita, the EPL is the richest sporting competition in the world by revenue. So why are its millionaires having to be begged to give up only a little to stabilize the business of the same employers who facilitate their massive earnings? If a janitor can give up 20% in pay, why can’t a man, who’s earning up to 200 times more per month, not do the same? This is unconscionable.

    Selah.

  • Opinion: Hosts keep missing the point about COVID19 Opinion: Hosts keep missing the point about COVID19

    The hosts of the various big events in the world of sports have been missing the point over and over for the last three months, much like many governments have.

    The COVID-19 Pandemic has inch by inch, ground sports to a halt all over the world and looming events have had to be either cancelled or postponed as it becomes clear that the word ‘pandemic’ is as horrifying as it sounds and the world won’t get over this issue in a few weeks or months as administrators seem to feel.

    But even more important than that, these administrators seem to feel that whether or not an event can go on, depends on the environment at the event.

    But I suggest there is more to it than that.

    The Olympics, for instance, in Tokyo, Japan, seemed to hinge on whether or not the island could get its COVID-19 problems under control before the rest of the world would travel to the event.

    When it became clear that this would not be the case, the event was postponed.

    However, up until that time, even as preparatory events for the Olympics were being cancelled and/or postponed all over the world, the International Olympic Committee had been asking athletes to prepare as if there would still be an event in July of 2020.

    That, I believe, was unfortunate, because it meant, even without travelling to meets all over the world, training was putting athletes at risk of contracting the virus.

    The danger of picking up the virus becomes even more acute when you consider team sports and how much contact it takes to get one working in unison and performing at a high level.

    For that to happen, there needs to be a combination of technical staff, trainers, teammates, and much more. That will up the chances of contracting a virus and therefore it doesn’t matter what is happening at whichever venue in the world, the athletes are at risk.

    I am acutely aware that much planning goes into putting on a large event like the Olympics or the UEFA Champions League, and that there is a lot of money riding on the event going ahead as planned.

    These considerations, I believe, make decisions grey and not as completely black and white like it might from the outside, however, sports and entertainment being the last to get on board with social distancing was, in my mind, slightly callous.

    But that’s just in my mind. These organisers may well have foreseen the financial fallout for the athletes themselves and wanted to save them, for as long as they could, from months without earning in some cases.

    Whichever way you see it, the truth is COVID-19 is likely to bankrupt far more people than it kills.

    Many of the reports on COVID-19 have also indicated that it hurts people with underlying conditions and the elderly, so the athlete with his fitness at the peak of their value, along with usually being under 40, is not in any real danger.

    But how about the person the athletes give it to? And, as was the case of 21-year-old Spanish coach, Francisco Garcia, who knows who has an underlying condition that this virus may attack?

    Garcia, a coach at Atletico Portada Alta, found out he had undiagnosed Leukemia, after being admitted to hospital with coronavirus symptoms. By then, it was too late.

    How I see it is that people and countries can recover from going broke. It happens all the time.

    I’ve never seen anybody recover from being dead.

    Cricket West Indies and the England Cricket Board are entertaining the idea of having a series between the two, scheduled for June, behind closed doors.

    Hopefully, they think better of it in short order.

  • Carib players in Suncorp Super Netball hit by 70 per cent pay cut Carib players in Suncorp Super Netball hit by 70 per cent pay cut

    Netball players in the Suncorp Super Netball in Australia have agreed to 70 per cent pay cut in light of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe and that has prevented the league from getting started this season.

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