Coronavirus: the soccer stop, its suppliers also

Coronavirus: le soccer à l'arrêt, ses fournisseurs aussi

PARIS | equipment suppliers, security agencies, or even publishers analysis software matches… numerous providers of soccer clubs are being hit hard by the discontinuation of the competitions and challenges of the sector. Many jobs are at risk, ecosystem at risk.

“Our industry weighs several billion euros into the French economy, it is as much of providers that are going to be in trouble, because we are not going to appeal to them”, pointed recently the president of the tennis Stadium, Nicolas Holveck, referring to the approximately 140 service providers working for his club.

The final stop of the season championships, already pronounced in France and in the netherlands, dims the future of these suppliers, whose survival is often linked to that of the clubs, the engines of the local economy. According to the professional football League (LFP), 30 000 indirect jobs are affected by the “chain” football ” in France.

“My activity is reduced to zero,” says Eric Gilliot, CEO, Agora, Protection and Security, which secures many matches to Reims, Lens, Lille and even to PSG. “I work with 4 to 600 temporary employees for which the matches are complements of the normal salary. For some, it is a big shortfall,” says the executive, amounting to € 700 or € 800 monthly average loss of income for those employees.

In addition, for this sector of the security event, the future is uncertain, between closed and generalized health issues. “Our production tool, it is the human. In relation to the context of health, the human will he not reluctant to take back?” asks Mr Gilliot.

“In a blur”

Among the manufacturers of sports equipment, the doubt prevails also. “We had to equip 17 stages moroccans in the shelter of a key, we are left with the half on the arms. It is not known how it will finish,” confirms Jean-Claude Behr, boss of Metaluplast, supplier, notably of the last world Cup and whose turnover has decreased by 95 % since the beginning of the confinement.

“I’m completely in the dark. A club pro, it has constantly of projects to redo training sites, build new ones. And at one time, it will be necessary to fill the hole (budget). There will be cuts, either of the reports,” predicted the head of the company.

For these big oems, the other major question mark concerns the amateur world and its thousands of facilities managed by local authorities.

“Everything is closed. You can’t even go to work on-site in the installation of equipment. Is it that our activity will restart with the déconfinement?” asks Laurent Martinez, director general of Marty’s Sports, a company with a team including the Stade de France.

Across Europe, the stadiums are off, freezing at the same time their ecosystem.

At FC Barcelona, the legendary Camp Nou stadium, which has a lawn hybrid, he has a chance to benefit from 80 % of the usual services that are conferred to him, the maintenance of the lawn being “particularly sensitive”, according to Barca.

“Disaster”

But this is not the case of all speakers. In England for example, the Guardian newspaper has revealed that thousands of part-time employees of the company Delaware North, which provides services in the largest stadiums in the country, had seen their wages disappear since the suspension of the Premier League.

And in Germany, Löwen-Sicherheit, a company that looks after the safety of the matches of RB Leipzig, has explained to the newspaper Neues Deutschland have had to lay off 250 people…

“This is going to be a disaster for the sector, with repercussions on the first, second and third tier of the chain, to the suppliers of the suppliers,” says Virgile Caillet, president of the Union of Sport and Cycle. “Behind the economic crisis, there is a social crisis.”

The shakeout is also looming over branches less exposed to the sector. Mikael Rousson, the co-founder of Signality, a young sprout under a contract with the soccer League in sweden for a service of data analysis based on the videos of the matches, is anxious for the development of its project.

“Our goal was to go into other markets, other leagues in Europe. There, it is impacted because the other leagues are arrested,” he says. “To get their attention, it may be more difficult.”

And it puts in danger the economic model of these companies, often based on the confidence of investors. “It is possible that in 12 to 18 months we have not quite shown good things at the trade level to convince,” says Rousson.

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