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EU could lose €99 billion and 1 million jobs due to impact of COVID-19 on sport sector: New report

By ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby.


Exactly how hard the accumulated economic impact of Covid-19 will be for the sport sector is still uncertain. But a new report from the European Commission reveals that it is likely to be a heavy impact. The report focuses on the current 28 countries of the European Union, but I believe that it can also point to a global trend – unfortunately.


The report, 'Mapping study on measuring the economic impact of Covid-19 on the sport sector in the EU', is written by Ecorys and SportsEconAustria (SpEA), which have been involved in previous reports on sport and the economy in the EU, and comprises various elements like:


  • Statistical economic data from the countries.
  • Reports and data on Covid-19 support measures.
  • Interviews with stakeholders (including myself), who give their perspectives on the impact and preferred support measures.


It operates with three scenarios and I predict that it will be the Higher (worst) scenario that will be the most realistic result. The overall message is that Covid-19 has had and will have a significant economic impact on the sport sector.


In the European Union the sport sector produces around 2% of GDP and around 2.2% of employment. In other words, it is quite a significant sector, both in economic and employment terms.


The forecast, according to the report, is that there will be a negative impact (reduction) of around 15% of sports-related GDP – which in euros represents €99 billion (or €198 per EU citizens) in 2020. This naturally reflects on employment as well, as the sports sectors are employment intensive fields. That is also visible in the expected decrease in employment at the level of 17% or around 1 million employees.


15% is quite a lot and we should be aware of that such an average reflects a reality where some companies, organisations and activities are totally wiped out or have faced very severe economic setbacks.


If you want to know more I encourage you to read the Executive Summary on pages 7-11, which gives a good impression of this 145-page report.