It was news that broke late on Friday evening that dominated the vast majority of headlines and column inches over the weekend.
That was of course the news that Manchester City have been banned from UEFA competitions for the next two seasons, as well as being fined £24.9m for “serious breaches” of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play and club licensing regulations.
The heavy sanction is due to “overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016 … and failing to cooperate in the investigation by an Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body.”
As expected, Manchester City will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over a verdict they were “disappointed but not surprised at”, but it is an announcement that has got the football world talking.
It means that fifth in the Premier League could now secure a place in next season’s Champions League, which certainly adds another layer of excitement to the remainder of the season.
Friday 14 February Bronze Match Day Winners:
- Star Player: Raphael Guerreiro (2p)
- Top Defender: Lukasz Piszczek (2p)
- Top Midfielder: Raphael Guerreiro (2p)
- Top Forward: Islam Slimani (2p)
- Media: Paul Pogba (3p)
Saturday 15 February Gold Match Day Winnners:
- Star Player: Wout Weghorst (8p)
- Top Defender: Christophe Herelle (8p)
- Top Midfielder: Pierre Lees-Melou (8p)
- Top Forward: Wout Weghorst (8p)
- Media: Sadio Mane (3p)
Sunday 16 February Gold Match Day Winners:
- Star Player: Paulo Dybala (8p)
- Top Defender: Alex Sandro (8p)
- Top Midfielder: Juan Cuadrado (8p)
- Top Forward: Paulo Dybala (8p)
- Media: Son Heung-min (3p)
Now here’s the latest activity on the Index:
Inevitable Rise & Fall of Manchester City Stars
The aforementioned news for Manchester City did, as you would expect, have a notable impact on the Share Price of some of their players.
It wasn’t all drops however, as Phil Foden (£3.88) rose by 8p on the same day, with the expectation being the youngster would have a more prominent role should there be a max exodus.
Recent news of Pep Guardiola and Raheem Sterling expecting to remain at the Etihad Stadium during the proposed European ban, per Sky Sports News, will be music to the ears of City fans as the club look to fight the ban, as well as keeping hold of their stars both on the pitch and on the sidelines.
Thomas Muller – Assist Machine
Thomas Muller (£1.40) is hardly a new player on the scene. He’s now 30 with many still questioning what his best position actually is.
What can’t be questioned this season is how beneficial he is to Bayern Munich wherever he plays on the pitch. The German international notched his 13th and 14th Bundesliga assists of the season at the weekend in the 4-1 win over FC Koln, taking him to the top of that respected chart outright, putting him one ahead of Index king Jadon Sancho (£9.30).
It had been an understated rise, but a 9p price increase over the last 24 hours, coupled with a 22p increase overall in the last week, means Traders are clocking on to the creative capabilities of the Bavarian ‘baller.
Todd Cantwell is Going Places
Despite playing for a side bottom of the Premier League this season, Todd Cantwell (£2.75) has been a real positive for the Canaries.
The 21-year-old has six goals and two assists in the league this season, which his willingness to receive the ball in tight situations and dribbling ability has caught the eye from sides higher up the table.
An impressive showing at the weekend in the defeat to Liverpool has seen the Reds linked with the midfielder, while both Manchester clubs and Tottenham are also said to be keeping tabs on him ahead of the summer.
It’s no surprise then to see his price rocket by 39p in the last 24 hours, as Traders look towards who could feature heavily in terms of Media Dividends during the summer transfer window.
Paulo Dybala Stars in Absence of Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo (£3.21) was absent for Juventus at the weekend, although it mattered little as the Old Lady secured a 2-0 win over Brescia to remain top of Serie A.
Instead, Paulo Dybala (£3.31) played a starring role for Maurizio Sarri’s side, as he opened the scoring with a well-taken free-kick, resulting in fans to demand the Argentine replace Ronaldo as their main free-kick taker.
He ended up taking home Sunday’s Star Player Dividends as a result, while he’s also enjoyed a 28p price increase in the last 24 hours such was both the quality of his display at the weekend, and the hope that he remains in form.
Harry Kane’s Pain is Son’s Gain
Of course the absence of Harry Kane (£5.57) is a major blow for Tottenham amid their quest to secure Champions League football next season, but the recent form of Son Heung-min (£2.14) has gone a long way to filling that void.
A brace against Aston Villa last time out in a 3-2 win – including a 94th minute winner – helped Spurs claim a third successive league win, while the forward has now scored six goals in his last five games.
While he’s not a natural centre forward, there’s no denying Son – who took home Sunday’s Media Dividends – has risen to the challenge of replacing Kane for what has been a crucial period for the club.
*All Share Prices, rises and falls accurate at time of writing