Soccer 2020 Trends That You Can’t Miss
In the last decade, soccer has seen its share of changes that no one believed will take place. In 2020, the game is entering a new decade and some new developments are expected to take place. In the coming decade we expect some new treads to emerge ranging from clubs finally embracing the data to football players opening speaking about politics, here are the trends you must not miss.
European Super League Might Eventuate
Soccer is richer than ever because of its growing revenue from the international audience. Television revenues have left teams a lot richer making the football industry a money-minded affair. According to Deloitte’s Sports Business Group English premier clubs spend around $630.4 million on players in 2009/10 season but this season, they have already invested over $1.83 billion in January till now.
We know that the top clubs in the European Leagues will want to stay rich but it is also true that television revenues have reached the peak. Now clubs and competitions have to look for new ways to bring revenue in 2020.
The ‘European Super League’ which has been doing rounds in talks for a while can be seen becoming a reality. The top clubs of the continent are supposed to fight it out in this format. Biggest clubs playing one another is a definite revenue boost.
While domestic leagues and a large percentage of fans might oppose the proposed European Super League, but the big clubs are powerful enough to convince that it is good for the game and even necessary to keep the advertising dollars flowing in.
Data-Driven Decision Making
Even after being the most popular sport in the world, soccer is still behind in using the statistical data analysis that other sports have already embraced. There are clear benefits of making smarter informed decisions but for some reason, footballers don’t want to go data-way. However, change is gradually happening and companies are already here that offer solutions to make tactical and scouting decisions a lot more efficient and effective.
Liverpool can be considered the poster club that is using data to guide decision making. The club wants to reap the benefits of a scientific approach which is quite evident on how the team is progressing. Liverpool is on its way to comfortably win the Premier League and they already are the current European Champion and World Champion. One can argue that Liverpool’s devastating soccer is powered by their more analytical approach.
Introduction of VAR in football is another change that we can see in soccer. This will help referee decision making but the introduction of VAR has been controversial as seen in the Premier League. So, it depends on how much soccer leaders will be using VAR in the coming tournaments.
Sportsbooks are also working on making changes to their approach towards soccer odds. While statistical data remains of importance, we can see more football betting options to be available.
Bigger International Tournaments
In the upcoming decade, 2022 World Cup in Qatar is the highlight, FIFA allowing 48 teams to play in the tournament is also one of the attractions. But the following editions to be played in the US, Canada and Mexico are also going to the biggest in history. While there are concerns from many commentators who believe that making tournament 50% bigger is not going to make it more exciting just bloated, for FIFA increased size can be additional $1 billion in the bank.
FIFA has no plans to just stop here and want to make the sport more popular by changing public perception of the game by hosting the matches in locations that are lucrative. It will mean additional expenditure from the world governing body’s wallet but it will also ensure the expansion of soccer that will bring in revenue in the long run.
The Club World Cup is set to be played in China another foreign location for the game. Qatar is already counting on the FIFA World Cup to increase its soft power through sports. In the coming decade, we can see a lot many soccer events hosted in the middle east.
Greater Focus on Player Welfare
For the first time, the Premier League which is one of the most-intense competitors has introduced winter break for its players. The remuneration is indeed sufficient to keep players on the pitch but they do require a break. International tournaments in summers combined with the gruelling Christmas period when matches are played every couple of days it is a gruelling experience for the players who are spending more time on the pitch more than ever. Not to mention that the game itself is quicker than ever.
It is safe to assume that we will see advancements in injury prevention in the next 10 years. No team wants to see their player worth hundreds of millions of dollars spending time on the bench and will be willing to invest a small amount in injury prevention. We can see some new tech and medical advancements making it easier for players to recover from their injuries.
Soccer has been trying to improve its concussion protocols for sometimes now as they are referred to as “the worst in the world”. A study found out that of all athletes, soccer players are three times more likely to die from dementia. We expect as the decade progresses more research will be focused on the players’ health effects.
Soccer is a sport that has booming popularity with more teams joining and the game expanding its territory in unfamiliar regions, we will see more money flowing in and more partnerships being forged. While we go into a new decade, we expect soccer to flourish and become more sustainable.