5-POINT FRIDAY, AUGUST 14th, 2020
Here is this week's dose of “5-Point Friday”. A weekly round-up of the sports news and stories that I find most interesting and enjoyable.
What I am reading -
U.S. Olympic Athletes in Financial Limbo Without Olympics, by Torrey Hart (@torreyhart). The article delves into the financial issues that Olympic athletes are facing, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the delay of the Tokyo Games.
Best social media response of the week -
German Bundesliga club FC Köln (Cologne) publicly waved goodbye to a fan who objected to a particular element of their new away kit.
The jersey is adorned with the city's skyline and includes the iconic Cologne Cathedral, the river Rhine and other landmarks. However, the fan took offense to the addition of the Cologne Central Mosque, as one of the landmarks.
The fan claimed the decision to represent the building on the shirt effectively made Cologne a "religious organization" and that they could not "identify with Muslims and mosques" before suggesting they would soon be playing in pink kits. The club took his suggestion at face value, by releasing a pink jersey concept.
Australian sports story I am following -
Five of Sydney's sports teams look set for a rebrand after the Sydney Opera House Trust announced that will introduce a $50,000 licensing fee for teams using the iconic building in their branding.
Currently, the NRL's Sydney Roosters, AFL's Sydney Swans, BBL's Sydney Sixers, NBL's Sydney Kings, and the A-League's Sydney FC all use the Opera House within their imagery. The Kings have already stated their intentions to redesign the logo stating they no longer see the current branding as “cost-viable.”
New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro (JohnBarilaroMP) took aim at the Sydney Opera House Trust stating:
“It looks like we’ve thrown the we are all in this together slogan out the window.”
“This is a disgrace. This is paid by Australian taxpayers, built by Australians. It’s iconic.
“It’s not just Sydney, it represents everything we are. The Opera House isn’t just for the elite through Sydney’s culture and arts but it actually represents every Australia.
“Having that logo used on sporting groups at a local level, state level is absolutely the best way you can promote one - the Opera House, two - NSW.
“This $50,000 asking price is a joke, an absolute disgrace, it is a cash grab.
“At a time when we are hurting, businesses are hurting and corporate dollar is drying up for sporting groups, the Opera House thinks it is above all of that.
“The more people that promote the Opera House the better it is for Sydney as a whole. Those sails are trademark sails that people understand and know it means Sydney.”
Soccer story I am learning about -
English League One and League Two clubs voted to introduce a salary cap of $3.26 million and $1.96 million respectively.
Wages, bonuses, taxes, and image rights, plus agents' and other relevant fees, will be included within the cap but bonuses gained from promotion or progression in cups will be exempt.
The Professional Footballers Association reacted to the vote by saying it is "disappointed with the outcome".
"The English Football League (EFL) has ignored its legal obligation to consult with the PFA and the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee," it added in a statement.
"As such, the legal advice we have received is clear that the salary cap envisaged by the EFL would be unlawful and unenforceable.
"The PFA has already served its notice of arbitration on the EFL and until such time that arbitration is determined one way or another the new regulations should have no effect.
"While we share the league's commitment to protecting the long-term sustainability of the leagues, the salary cap proposals voted on today have been rushed through without the proper consideration or consultation."
EFL chief executive David Baldwin came out to explain why the vote has been made. Stating, "The term 'salary cap' is an emotive one, creating the impression of a restrictive measure but we are clear in our view that this is neither the objective nor the likely effect of these changes to EFL regulations.
"The financial impact of Covid-19 will be profound for EFL clubs and today's vote will help ensure clubs cannot extend themselves to the point that could cause financial instability.
"Over the last two weeks the discussions amongst clubs in both Leagues One and Two have been healthy and constructive, allowing us to reach a clear consensus and I am pleased that the clubs have determined to adopt the new approach.
"We will now work with all clubs, the PFA and, where appropriate, other stakeholders to implement the new rules and continue our efforts to bring long-term sustainability to the EFL."
If a club is over the salary cap by up to 5%, they will face a financial penalty for every $1.30 by which they exceed the limit.
Any club exceeding the 'overrun' will be referred to an independent disciplinary commission for further sanctions.
College athletics news I am excited about -
West Coast Conference (WCC) leaders decided to take action against racial inequality by launching the 'Russell Rule.'
Named after Bill Russell, who played basketball at league-member University of San Francisco in the 1950s, the initiative is designed to work similarly to the NFL's Rooney Rule. WCC schools will now have to include at least one minority finalist in searches for ADs, senior administrators, head coaches, and assistant coaches.
The 'Russell Rule' becomes the first of its kind in NCAA Division I athletics.
“Our presidents really wanted meaningful change,” said WCC Commissioner, Gloria Nevarez (@GloNevarez). “This was at a time after George Floyd’s murder that everyone was putting out statements of support. But we wanted to do something that had some staying power.”
“It’s another level of accountability,” Nevarez added. “That’s a really important piece of ensuring that we’re tracking and trending in the right direction. … Hopefully, the Russell Rule gets legs and becomes something that other leagues or entities find helpful.”
Have a wonderful weekend, all!