Cash Flow A ‘Concern’ In Post-Coronavirus Football
Jane Purdon, the chief executive of Women in Football, recently spoke to UCFB to discuss her career, her current role at WIF and her thoughts on the impact that COVID-19 has had already, and will continue to have, on the women’s game.
On the topic of the current pandemic, Purdon explained how she is worried for not only the women’s game, and its well-publicised growth, but also the men’s game too.
She said: “I’m worried about all of football. I think everything said about women’s football is right; we were looking forward to the Olympic Games this year and then a home women’s Euro’s in 2021 that would carry on the momentum from the World Cup last year.”
Likewise, as speculation has continued to grow over the financial implications of the current enforced break across professional sport, cashflow is the area that causes Jane the greatest concern for football’s future.
She said: “If you look at the Premier League in terms of men’s football, it is still the wealth spring of all of it. It’s the source of revenue not just for its own clubs but it funds community programmes, youth development programmes and girl’s programmes across English football, all through the Football League to the National League.”
Purdon added: “As soon as games are stopped being played, there’s an immediate issue with everyone’s cashflow. That has got to be a worry.”
However, through her role with WIF, Jane has sought to reach out to the football community to hear their stories during this lockdown period.
She explained: “We’ve personally put out a number of shout outs from the Women in Football social media channels to say ‘we want to hear your stories about this, if it’s been both positive and negative. If you’ve been having a bad time at work due to this, or if something’s been done really well, we want to hear it.’”
With the Premier League now being given the green light to return at the beginning of June, Purdon felt that the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic wouldn’t become fully clear until the parameters of that return were announced in full.
Purdon said: “What’s worrying me is that as football reopens, I don’t think we will know the full economic impact on male and female football until we know when it is going to restart and on what basis. I think in terms of that, we are going to have to be super alert to what that looks like and what the fallout could be.”
She added: “It’s unavoidable and we all know that because, of course, the world has bigger problems than when football is going to restart. I absolutely know that. We’ve never experienced anything like this, and it is a concern.”
Jane Purdon was speaking to Mark Clemmit as part of the UCFB Insight Series.
Words: Nathan Brown. Image: UCFB