The question of the effectiveness of player welfare is the topic I will be tackling for the first Norton & Co blog.
Modern day sport is booming. With television deals, increased sponsorship revenue and attendance records being broken frequently, it’s a wonder at when the development of sport will stop! However, on a player welfare front, development is just starting, but is it effective?
Player welfare is still far too low for the sophisticated standards of sport today. In their May Issue FourFourTwo Magazine published an article about transfer relocation ‘nightmares’. From this, Reader’s learnt that two lower league players, who play for reputable clubs, had resorted to living away from their families, having to move back in with parents or living in hotels due to a lack of provision of sufficient relocation services. Clubs and agents alike try to cater for these situations, but it is near to impossible to provide such a service for each and every individual player, let alone their families. Rugby & cricket clubs have Team Managers & Player Welfare Managers, where relocation & other services are part of an already large job role that include important elements such as team logistics. Because of this lack of efficiency players and other stakeholders are not sufficiently provided for, which leads to lack of performance, unhappiness on both the family & player’s part which unsurprisingly negatively impacts the club.
Player welfare is continually mentioned in the news. Invariably, this is negative rather than positive. With extremely sad stories such as player’s struggling and losing their fight to mental illness, to lack of rest time between fixtures, there are ever-increasing problems with ever-decreasing answers. Fortunately, stakeholders’ charities, such as the Rugby Player’s Association, have started promoting and pushing charitable donations for Restart Rugby, an initiative for players and their families in times of need. From players such as Jonny Arr, Worcester Warriors player, who has named Restart Rugby as his testimonial year charity, to legends games for fundraising, action is starting to be taken. There are encouraging signs coming from the RPA, who also have a #LiftTheWeight campaign, which is for players who are struggling with mental health. This demonstrates that player welfare is growing & being increasingly catered for. Only through charities such as the Player’s Cricket Association, League Managers Association, Rugby Players Association & Professional Football Association, is player welfare beginning to be effective.
I started Norton & Co Relocation Services because I believe there is huge need to improve the relocation aspect of player welfare. Improvements can always be made, and with Norton & Co, we aim to revolutionise the provision of relocation services in all sports, but specifically in team-based sports such as football, rugby & cricket. With services tailored to players, their families, clubs and other stakeholders, we are the only sport specific relocation service who can deliver on their mission statement; to successfully relocate sports stars and their families and to raise the standard of external influenced player welfare through serving the players’ and the clubs.
Effective means successful in providing a desired or intended result. This definition is not something you would relate to current ‘player welfare’ efforts. However, with improvements and promotions from unions and charities, effective player welfare is inevitable, but currently not successful. With Norton & Co I believe player welfare could be dramatically improved on, just like every other aspect of sport has been improved on.
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