Today, HPN (with the fantastic James Coventry) published this piece on what faces the major football codes with the impacts of COVID-19. We dug into annual reports to try to quantify the situation.
This year, if football continues, HPN will be regularly publishing articles on ABC about football (and potentially other topics), covering both on and off field issues.
This means that some weeks will be lighter on the actual website – but HPN will try to provide links and extra info here. On the weeks that we aren’t on ABC, expect to see either more niche deep dives or more quick pieces about trends we have seen.
If there’s a season at all.
Tomorrow, our annual AFL season preview will run at ABC without any real certainty about the actual season. If there’s no football, we will try to keep this space going in some form – either looking at off field trends or at the archives.
HPN took a break over the summer to recharge the batteries, and work on a bunch of stuff that we were proud to reveal throughout the year. Like everyone else, we are still working out how to navigate the current situation.
An earlier draft of the piece that ran at ABC finished like this:
The path forward
Perhaps the most certain thing moving forward is that, after the pandemic ceases and life begins to return to normal, sport will continue. Sport in Australia has survived wars, financial crises and even the Spanish Influenza pandemic about a century ago. In all cases, the codes rebuilt.
The administration and organisation of the different sporting codes may take a slightly different form, with different names running the show. The financial situation may be significantly different for those involved, as fighting funds and financial bases are rebuilt over time.
But when the game is ready to go on, and people are able to cheer on their team, they will.
At HPN we both hope that effective measures are put in place to society can return to normal eventually, with minimal suffering and lasting damage.