£310k in losses - Commission will fight the cause
SPORT is taking a big financial hit for the Coronavirus shutdown, perhaps as much as £310,000 in lost revenues if it stretches through the summer months, writes Rob Batiste.
Working on behalf of the Guernsey Sports Commission, Steve Sharman says it may well also cost many jobs, but the commission is determined to prevent that happening.
‘I sent out an email to all the member sports that come under the administration of the Guernsey Sports Commission to look at the economic impact Covid-19 was having on them specifically, and I wanted to understand how in a three to four month, maybe to a six month period, what the impact was on their cash flow.
‘I also asked how it would have an impact on their paid staff, full time and part time, on their volunteer staff group and an impact on their sponsors and the facilities they were using, and if it was having an impact on the rent they were paying.
‘So as of Thursday [last week] 24 organisations/sports had got back to me and the current situation financially of the of lack of cash flow over the next three to four months and a period perhaps extending maybe to six months is currently £275,000.
'But if you add in athletics to that then you are well over £310,000 and that is only about a 30% return of the clubs and sports we have on the island, so I am expecting that to significantly rise.
‘Also, if you look at the employment status, of part time staff, probably a 100 will be in danger of not being paid, and as for salary staff after six months we could be losing 20 plus full time salary staff from organisations.’
Sharman says that while sport is no more important than many other aspects of island life, it is often over-looked as to how it works and the cost of it.
‘We wanted a real economic understanding, because people forget that over the last 10 years sport on Guernsey has more of a professional run business where it is people’s full time jobs.
‘It has brought a significant amount of funding to the GIG economy to the zero-hours part time workers, as well as the traditional core of sport, which is the volunteer base as well.
‘The secondary hit is if cash flow runs out and the you are losing reserves from organisations.
‘A lot of them run right on the margins and if those reserves are used up, which you could argue that they should be, what position are these organisations going to be in when Covid-19 passes and the community needs to re-engage and come out of self isolation and renew all the positive things that sport gives us in health and mental health benefits. How those organisations are in a position to start up again?’
The Sports Commission relationship manager, added: ‘Sport plays a real integral part in the community and lifestyle of this island and while it is no more important than any other areas, but what we are saying is that the perception that sport is always OK, is not right.
‘It really does work on the knife-edge of an operation.
‘There is a danger of us losing certain sports, clubs, certain people who are so important to the fabric of the island and the Sports Commission is committed and that is why it is making government aware and why it is doing this work.
‘We are committed to ensuring that we support every club, every sports organisation.
'Yes, it does give us an opportunity to think again how they operate and we offer that support as well, so we could come out of this stronger, but we firstly ended to have that realisation how important it is to the community and what it means for people’s lives and we need to be planning now for when we are back to some sense of normality and those organisations are there to provide what the community needs.’