July 2 – Football will return resilient and stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, according to La Liga’s managing director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Maite Ventura made his remarks at a webinar organised by La Liga in conjunction with the Dubai Sports Council to discuss how the game will recover from the pandemic.
“It has been a very difficult period for us, but we have been working very hard to adapt, and to adjust to a new reality, with our ultimate goal being to connect to millions of our fans worldwide,” Maite told participants. “Right now, our focus is fully on recovery and this began with the restart of our league matches, which kicked off on June 11.
“To be honest, the possibility of having our players back on the pitch and being able to finish the season has been a great accomplishment for LaLiga. We consider it as the first step towards the recovery of the football industry.
“Again, we are adapting. We are, for example, playing behind closed doors, which means we need to deliver a great entertainment experience to our fans watching around the world. Apart from this, there are many other challenges and factors impacting the football industry, such as the financial implications and the consequences for players and their contracts.
“However, at LaLiga, we firmly believe that the football industry will recover and return as strong as it was before, or even stronger.”
While many football leagues in Europe have resumed, only a few of them are allowing fans to attend with most games taking place behind closed doors, resulting in a severe loss of revenue.
Summing up the impact, Valencia’s ticketing chief Franco Segarra said: “The problem here, because of COVID-19, is that not only are we not going to get extra money from match-day ticketing, but we also owe from the money we have already received and accounted from season-ticket holders. We need to turn this crisis into an opportunity and see what we can do and are basically giving three options to the season ticket holders as compensation for the five games they could not attend.”
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