It’s fair to say that 2020 has been a year quite unlike any other. As winter turned to spring, the world essentially ground to a halt as the coronavirus pandemic took hold and society as we knew it was turned on its head.
As we entered a global lockdown, the football calendar for 2020 was thrown into disarray. Various domestic leagues took different approaches – those in England, Spain, Italy and Germany managed to restart and conclude their campaigns, while France’s Ligue 1 was ended early.
Meanwhile, on the international stage, the European Championships were postponed for 12 months, with the aim of seeing football fans in stadiums by the time the summer of 2021 rolls around.
The impact of coronavirus on football has been enormous, but there has been plenty more to talk about in the beautiful game over the last 12 months. The role of VAR in football continues to be a hot topic of debate, with controversies springing up seemingly every week.
And what about the winners and losers in football in 2020? Who has enjoyed a memorable 12 months, and who has endured a year to forget? Here, we’ll discuss all the key talking points and how they might have affected Traders’ decisions on Football Index.
Coronavirus and Football
Like most aspects of society, football was forced to shut down as the pandemic spread across the world. Thankfully, the game was able to return after a few months – a welcome source of comfort and joy for the millions of fans restricted to the confines of their own homes.
While there was no action happening on the pitch, Football Index boosted Media Dividends to five places. That encouraged Traders to think about those players who were likely to hog the headlines – perhaps due to the latest transfer speculation or even their home workout sessions going viral.
With no Match Day, In-Play or Team of the Month Dividends to be won, the enforced break in the calendar meant Traders had to adjust their strategy to stay ahead.
Football Behind Closed Doors
Although we were all thrilled at the return of the sport, the sight of empty football stadiums was one that took some getting used to. Viewers had the option of listening to fake crowd noise or hearing the shouts of the players echoing around the arena – both of which made for an alien experience.
And it’s fair to say that without football fans in the stadium, the players themselves were affected. Many have spoken about the surreal experience while there are those who thrive off the atmosphere provided by the supporters and therefore found it difficult to perform to their usual standards.
A difficult factor to quantify, perhaps, but Traders will have had to think carefully about which players within their Portfolio were struggling to hit the heights without a crowd to entertain.
A Congested Football Calendar in 2020 and Beyond
The lockdown-enforced break threw the schedule into chaos, creating a logistical nightmare for the governing bodies. Those that returned to complete the 2019-20 campaign did so by cramming their fixtures into a small window. To help combat the issue of player fatigue, drinks breaks were introduced and teams were permitted to use five substitutes per game.
And even though that rule is no longer being used across all of European football in 2020, the nature of the schedule offers plenty of opportunity for Traders on Football Index. With a condensed season and so many games to get through – especially for those in European competition – injuries and rotation are set to become a pivotal factor.
As we head into the new year and the build-up to the rearranged Euros, knowing which players are due a rest and which are set to step up from the bench could prove crucial when it comes to buying and selling Shares.
Plenty of Transfer Activity
Many felt that the economic uncertainty in the wake of the pandemic would see clubs err on the side of caution once the transfer window reopened. And although there was a downturn in overall outlay, there was still more than £3 billion spent on football transfers in the summer of 2020 across Europe’s top five leagues.
The likes of Victor Osimhen, Kai Havertz, Mauro Icardi, Hakim Ziyech and Leroy Sane all made big-money, headline-grabbing moves. With more than one way to win on Football Index, savvy Share owners will have been in position to pick up plenty of Media Dividends in the process.
And of course, as we enter 2021 and a new transfer window, there promises to be plenty more speculation and subsequent opportunity to turn a tax-free profit on your bet.
Controversial VAR Decisions
Even a couple of years after its introduction, video technology continues to be a fiercely debated topic. Some feel that VAR is ruining football, while there are those who point to its ability to get the majority of the big calls right. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, there’s no denying that VAR decisions are having a significant impact on the game we know and love.
For Traders, a VAR check going against one of their players could mean the difference between picking up valuable Dividends and going unrewarded. The game’s unpredictable nature is a huge part of its appeal but, for some, the pedantic application of the rules is proving detrimental.
Football in 2020: The Winners and Losers
There’s no denying that following football in 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride. And, as with any year in any sport, there have been winners and losers along the way. For Liverpool, 2020 represented their return to the summit of the English game after a 30-year absence. And then there’s Bayern Munich, who conquered at home and in Europe, thanks in no small part to the 40 goals rattled in prior to December by Robert Lewandowski – arguably the best football player in the world in 2020.
En route to Champions League glory, Bayern smashed eight past an ageing Barcelona, whose talisman Lionel Messi made no secret of his desire to leave ahead of 2020-21. The media furore surrounding that story caused his player price to spike and, although his value has since settled and Messi remains at Camp Nou for now, the Argentine icon is sure to be back in the headlines again in 2021, with his contract expiring at the end of the season.
So, as we head into a new year, who will your winners and losers be? Football Index is all about backing your predictions to come good and, if they do, you’ll earn tax-free profits along the way. Could 2021 be the year your football smarts make you a winner?