BLOG | BY CHIEF EXECUTIVE MATT EVERETT
It’s one of the first questions I am always asked – understandably! What could your product do to help in the here and now?
It’s a question that doesn’t surprise me, because knowing the industry as we do, we know that financial outlooks were often short term even before the pandemic – and perhaps even more so now. That’s not an inherent criticism, just a bi-product of the culture that has built up over many years.
If there is one thing that 2020 has proved, it is that now is the best opportunity there will be to change that.
At ClubView, we of course follow with great interest the various proposals and methods which are out there to reform or bailout the game. There has been Project Big Picture, Sustain the Game from the FSA and Saving Our Beautiful Game to name just a few.
We have seen the National League receive a £10m bailout direct from the National Lottery, and the Premier League and EFL debating the terms of a £50m bailout for League One and Two.
Throughout the process, leagues and their clubs have spoken about the difficulty in distributing this much needed money fairly and transparently, without affecting the sporting integrity of the leagues or being seen to ‘punish’ those clubs which have operated sustainably and are surviving the pandemic in their own right.
A key point here is that we do not believe in one approach over another. But whatever approach is taken to reform the game moving forward, we have a ready made technology platform to allow that reform to be governed and avoid so many of the issues we have seen over the past few weeks.
Our platform would have allowed a league to distribute bailout fairly based on revenues and forecasts generated over many seasons. It would have given transparency as to where bailout money was being spent, and it would have crucially made the allocation fair on clubs and maintained the sporting integrity.
Our agile approach also means that we could very quickly have switched financial reporting and benchmarks from attendance and matchday revenues to streaming – a revenue stream that is entirely new to a lot of clubs who could have benefitted from that support when looking to maximise this whilst fans are not allowed to attend matches.
So to answer the original question – how could we help right now? Well it could be argued, rightly so perhaps, that we are not going to save a club tomorrow. However, what we could do is bring to the table a system that may help all parties involved in reforming the game to move forward with those discussions knowing that the ‘how’ would be taken care of, by ClubView, for the benefit of all of a leagues member clubs.
In many ways it is frustrating that we were not in place before the pandemic – but in other ways we are here and ready to help football to embrace financial intelligence technology right when it is needed most.
As I said, we do not endorse any particular reform, but we do know that clearly football must come out of this a changed industry for the better.
We know we can play a significant part in that.