With a complex web of stakeholders in professional sports, including owners, players, leagues, broadcast companies, sponsors and, not least, fans, finding a solution to the current shutdown of leagues that satisfies everyone is going to be almost impossible. The challenge of the task at hand brings to mind the biblical tale of King Solomon splitting the baby to give everyone what they want.

For many professional sports teams and leagues, broadcast revenue accounts for the majority of their income. If seasons are cancelled and obligations not fulfilled, pre-paid rights from broadcasters will likely need to be reimbursed in some form (whether in cash now or an extension of current contracts before the next renegotiation). The Canal+ broadcaster in France has announced that it is withholding its next €110m rights instalment to France's Ligue 1 football league. Players are already taking pay cuts and salary deferrals, and a reduction in broadcast revenue for teams may require some form of pay cuts to become permanent.

For sponsors who have invested heavily in their sponsorship, cancelled or shortened seasons will reduce the returns on those investments, and will make renewals a difficult sell internally. And for the fans who will be relegated to watching their teams play in empty stadiums on television, they may just feel like they are walking alone as they watch their team win a first league title in 30 years.