European soccer clubs expect to lose $4.5 billion in revenue over the next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study released Tuesday by the European Club Association.

The ECA estimated clubs in 55 countries face a collective shortfall of $1.8 billion this season and $2.7 billion in the 2020-21 campaign. The analysis excluded possible transfer market profits.

“The results demonstrate that the financial impact of COVID-19 on European clubs … is already a seismic shock,” ECA chief executive Charlie Marshall said.

ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli, who is also the president of Italian club Juventus, has called the pandemic “a real existential threat” to the soccer industry.

FIFA has committed hundreds of millions of dollars from its financial reserves to make grants and interest-free loans to member federations, which can choose to invest in club soccer.

The pandemic has affected broadcasting deals around the world and forced games to be played with few or no fans in stadiums, hurting club revenue.

In the 10 leagues researched by the ECA – including the five wealthiest of England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain – clubs face losing $450 million in ticket sales this season and $1.2 billion next season.

GOLF

WOMEN’S BRITISH OPEN: The R&A is going ahead with the Women’s British Open at Royal Troon without spectators.

The Women’s British Open is set for Aug. 20-23 at Royal Troon along the Ayrshire coast of Scotland. It would be the first major on the LPGA Tour schedule that is played this year and it would be the week after the Ladies Scottish Open on the other side of the country just east of Edinburgh.

Qualifying for the AIG Women’s British Open has been canceled. The R&A says the field will be comprised of leading players from the women’s world ranking and recognizing top performances at recent events on the world’s leading tours.

The R&A says it will create a bio secure zone at Royal Troon for those essential to the championship. It says it will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure a safe championship without spectators.

SOCCER

BULGARIA: Sixteen players and officials from Bulgarian soccer club Cherno More have tested positive for coronavirus.

The club from the Black Sea town of Varna says 12 players are among the positive cases and adds “all players who tested positive are quarantined and we have taken the necessary precautions.”

Cherno More played a league game against Tsarsko Selo in Sofia on Thursday. The laboratory that conducted pre-match tests admitted the following day that it had not announced that one of the players on the team from Sofia had tested positive.

Cherno More says the club is still ready to play on Tuesday against Arda Kardzhali despite the positive tests. The quarantined players would be replaced by members of the team’s junior squad.

AUSTRIA: The Austrian soccer league has started an investigation into the coronavirus testing procedures of all 16 second-division teams after three players from one club tested positive over the weekend.

The league says each club must provide receipts and test results to prove that all players have been tested on a weekly basis since play resumed on June 5 after a 12-week break.

The investigation comes after last-place Kapfenberger SV apparently breached the anti-coronavirus rules by failing to structurally test its players.

The league opened proceedings against Kapfenberg on Monday.

COLLEGES

LOUISVILLE: Two members of Louisville’s men’s basketball program have tested positive for COVID-19 and the team has suspended voluntary activities for two weeks.

A news release from the school did not specify whether it was players or staff members who tested positive. It added that those impacted are being quarantined and proper protocols are being followed.

GYMNASTICS

WORLDS: Denmark has pulled out of hosting the gymnastics world championships in 2021, the sport’s governing body said Tuesday.

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) “expressed its regret and disappointment” at the decision by the Danish federation to withdraw Copenhagen as host.

No specific reason was given by FIG in a brief statement which left unclear whether the event will be relocated. The week-long championships were scheduled for October 2021 in what is now a crowded calendar year with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics postponed to July 23-Aug. 8.

Gymnastics world championships are usually organized in each non-Olympic year.

FIG said its executive committee will consider launching a new bidding procedure. The 2022 edition is in Liverpool, England, and the 2023 worlds in Antwerp, Belgium.


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