Categories: SS Columns

How Will the Global Football Landscape Look Post Covid19?

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In truth, this is a difficult question to answer as there are many factors in play. All but one of the European football leagues have suspended their 2019/20 season with many issues still to be decided. The same applies for most professional football leagues around the world, with the two main exceptions being the Belarus Premier League and the Liga Primera de Nicaragua.

So, the first issue to address when answering how will the global football landscape look post Covid19, is the current campaign.

Taking the English Premier League as an example, Liverpool would surely have gone on to win the title this season.

However, they have not officially won the Premier League and therefore it is not possible to award them the title without finishing the games. Even if it was decided to award Liverpool the Premier League title this season, there is still the top four in Champions League qualification to consider plus the clubs to be relegated.

UEFA have released a statement saying that they want entry into the Champions League and Europa League next season to be decided only on merit. The problem with that is there is a good chance it will be impossible for every European League to play their remaining matches this season.

One option put forward is to create a playoff-style scenario where all the teams in contention to qualify for the Champions League and Europa League will meet in a tournament and those who are successful will qualify for the competitions.

Another method which is being discussed, especially by the Spanish Football Federation, is to use the current European coefficient rankings from the past five years.

This creates a problem because it would mean some teams who are currently in Champions League qualifying positions will miss out. Real Sociedad is a good example and they are currently in a Champions League qualifying position in La Liga.

However, should the European coefficient rankings be used to decide which teams will qualify for the Champions League they will miss out and be replaced by Atletico Madrid. There is a similar scenario in the English Premier League and Leicester City would be the team to miss out despite currently occupying a Champions League qualifying place.

Due to their superior ranking in the European coefficient, Manchester United will be the team to take their place in the Champions League next season.

Therefore, it seems very unlikely this method is going to be acceptable for every club and that is the main problem leagues are facing. It is simply not going to be possible to please every team and set of fans, regardless of the final decision.

If the major European leagues decided to make this season null and void, those clubs who are currently top of their respective tables and in some cases well clear of the opposition would be very unhappy with this decision. It will effectively reset the league and it will start again next season with the same teams, meaning no relegation or promotion between divisions.

This, in turn, leads us to the issue of money. Television rights and sponsorship deals are worth millions of pounds to football clubs and there is a chance many teams will miss out on this money because games are not being played and seasons unable to finish.

Many sports betting companies are involved in football and not only do they sponsor teams but also generate their revenue from punters placing bets on matches.

While many people who are currently missing the opportunity to bet on their favourite football teams, online casinos have been and will continue to be open for business. For those missing betting on the English Premier League, the ability to take advantage of a Casino Bonus UK has been greatly appreciated. By using these bonuses, it is possible to create a new account at many of the leading online casinos and enjoy a fantastic promotion. Not only are there matched deposits available, some of which are over £500, there is also the opportunity to qualify for a number of free spins on slots games. Some casino games even have a football theme so it is possible to enjoy the sport even though there are very few live matches to watch at the time of writing.

Many online casinos now sponsor top football clubs around the world and will be looking on with interest to see what is going to happen with the future of professional football. Money is obviously a particularly important factor and without any gate receipts, many clubs are struggling to pay their players and staff.

This could even lead to some teams facing financial ruin and closing down. This is not only affecting clubs lower down the leagues around the world, it is also having a big impact on top clubs. Many of which have seen their players take a reduction in wages or in some cases they have stopped being paid altogether.

One idea which is being seriously considered to get football back up and running is to play games behind closed doors. This means professional football matches around the world will be taking place but there will be no fans allowed inside the stadium. Clearly this is less than ideal as there will be no atmosphere inside the ground and it will be a very strange experience for everyone involved.

However, it will give leagues around the world the opportunity to start playing again and all of the matches can be screened live, either on television or via online streaming.

Some clubs have taken this idea one step further and FC Midtjylland of the Danish Superliga plan to show their games on two large screens in the car park of their stadium. Fans will be able to drive to the stadium and watch the games live from their vehicle while listening to television commentary on their car radio.

It is an interesting idea and will allow fans to get out of the house and at least feel as though they are part of the game rather than simply watching on a television or computer screen at home.

The German Bundesliga seems likely to be one of the first major football leagues around the world to resume playing and may even get underway in May. All of the matches will be played behind closed doors but some of the clubs may look at the idea by FC Midtjylland and allow fans to drive to the stadium and watch the games on big screens.

Although the football gossip columns continue to link players with big moves over the summer, there can be no doubt the outbreak of Covid19 is going to have an impact on the transfer market.

The official transfer window is due to open on the 10th of June but it is highly likely this date is going to be pushed back in an attempt to allow the 2019/20 football season to finish. When it does open, exactly how much are players going to be worth considering the overall economic impact Covid19 has had, not only on professional football but also the world in general?

Take Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho as an example. He has strongly been linked with a move to Manchester United in a deal reported to be worth around £100 million. Other clubs around Europe have also been linked with the England international and it appeared as though a bidding war was going to take place this summer for his services. While some of the biggest clubs, such as Manchester United, may still have the funds in place to sanction a big money transfer, will they test the water to see if they can pay less?

According to Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a member of the European Parliament for France, Paris Saint-Germain star and French World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe could see his value drop to €40m because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“After the coronavirus crisis is over, he will not be worth more than €35m or €40m rather than €200m” Cohn-Bendit wrote in his column for Quest France.

As highlighted above, some of the biggest clubs around Europe may still have the finance available to make a big transfer deal when the window finally opens.

However, in addition to trying to judge what the current value of a player is following Covid19, there is the moral aspect to consider. Would it be right, considering the fact many people around the world will have lost their jobs and could be facing financial ruin, for a football club to spend £100 million on a single player?

The global football landscape is going to look a lot different post Covid19. Games behind closed doors, new systems in place to decide the outcome of leagues, player values falling and fewer transfers taking place are just some of the changes to expect.

Balachandran B @jinofhell

Co-founder & Head of Operations @ SoccerSouls Sports Network. Nick Name: Jin. Favorite Sports team: Arsenal Follow me @Jin

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