Football is certainly the number one sports in the world and accounts for over a billion followership worldwide. Football is not just huge because of it’s amazing following all over the world but it is also a money spinner in many ways.
The FIFA world cup is football’s premier event world and according to a report from the New York Times, the 2018 world cup staged in Russia saw the World football governing body raking in over $6.1 billion. The revenue source for FIFA includes gate takings and sponsorship and partnerships with some of the biggest companies and franchise in the world. The thirty-two countries that participated shared over $400 million in prize money.
While FIFA’s stream of income is mainly dependent on its periodic tournaments, the European leagues are fast becoming cash cows for their countries. The German Bundesliga, French Ligue One, Italian Serie A, the Spanish La Liga, and the English Premier league are the elite leagues that have attracted cult followership all across the globe. The UEFA champions league which is an annual tourney to determine the numero uno amongst all the top European clubs is the icing on the cake that has made European football a mecca of sorts.
But over the last two decades, the meteoric rise of the English premier league has continued to astound followers of the round leather game. The Premier League is the biggest in terms of revenue generated, followership all around the world and TV viewership. English clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Liverpool have a worldwide fan base that accounts for 600 million people in 200 countries watching via TV and the internet every weekend.
Premier League TV tights games for the 2019-2022 was sold for £4.464bn to Sky Sports and BT sports with the remaining batch of TV rights still to be contested for. Social media giants like Facebook and Amazon are locked in a hot contest to acquire the remaining tranche of the rights. This is a pointer to the fact that the premier league is going to be on top of league football for many years to come.
But what is the reason for the astronomical rise of England’s Premier League? It’s quite simple actually. It’s down to what I call democracy. In England, revenues are shared from top to bottom irrespective of your actual contribution or position at the end of the season. Every club gets a chunk of revenues from domestic and international TV rights. This sets England apart from all the other leagues. In the other leagues, a larger chunk of the revenue generated from TV rights is shared by just the top teams such as what is evident in the Spanish LA Liga, where the top teams Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid take a significant portion and just some few million Euros is shared among the lower cadre. What this means is that while all the clubs in England have enough money to develop their facilities and also court some of the best players anywhere in the world, only the top teams can afford to do that in other parts of Europe.
In England, the best of the best converge. This makes the league competitive. At the start of every season, the top six clubs- Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur have a chance of winning the league. In the last ten seasons, no one club has won the league back to back. This is not the case in other parts of Europe. Juventus has all but won the Scudetto for the seventh time in a row. In Spain, Barcelona is on course to win the domestic double for the second successive season. Bayern Munich looks likely to win it’s fifth Bundesliga title. The other leagues are not as competitive as the English premier league.
English clubs also boast of some of the best sporting facilities in the world. Tottenham Hotspur just moved into its £1billion stadium at White Hart Lane. Theatre of Dreams, Manchester United’s home ground sits a capacity of over 70, 000 and many other home grounds of these clubs serve as opportunities to hit multiple streams of income such as season tickets and stadium tours. English football fans can go any length to support their clubs including paying huge amounts to watch their team play live and also buy club memorabilia. This is why the English premier league is first among equals.
One industry which is profiting from the growth and spread of football is sports betting. The growth of sports betting has further been fuelled by an increasingly globalized world and rapid internet penetration. Countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tanzania are seeing a huge expansion in sports betting and other forms of gambling. While there is an influx of sports betting company, just a few have been able to set the pace with best practices and nice betting experience. One of such online sports company is NetBet.
NetBet which was established in 2001 is considered to be one of the largest and prestigious gaming enterprises in Europe because of its array of unique products ranging from sports, casino, live casino, games, poker and lottery. It’s consistently and attention to details has made it one of the go-to site for online gaming.
NetBet’s reputation is built on a fair and safe-playing experience which guards against scam and fraudulent transactions. NetBet has gambling licenses from the United Kingdom and Malta and this shows that there is no room for fraud or any other hand dealings.
NetBet has continued to set the pace in the online gaming industry by introducing eye-popping innovations and unique product offering. Its comprehensive sportsbook is very popular. There is also a unique innovative lottery section that sees live draws take place every few minutes, as well as the poker client – which offers cash games and tournaments
With over 450 games available to play on site, and with reputable firms such as Playtech, NetEntertainment, Amaya, iSoftBet, Aristocrat and High5Games providing software for NetBet, the world is getting better for online gamers.
Algeria crowned African champions
Algeria has won its second AFCON title in Egypt after 29 years they did as hosts in 1990. Baghdad Bounedjah’s second-minute goal was all the Desert Warriors needed to claim the crown in Egypt.
For Senegal, the search for their first AFCON title continues despite coming so close to it as they did in 2002. Baghdad Bounedjah’s shot took a huge deflection off Salif Sane and looped over goalkeeper Alfred Gomes.
Senegal was awarded a penalty for handball in the second half but it was overturned after a VAR review.
Algeria closed out the rest of the game to win their first title since 1990.
Senegal’s players collapsed on the pitch in tears at the final whistle.
Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, who said before the game he would swap his Champions League winners medal for Africa Cup of Nations success, looked disconsolate as Algeria players celebrated around him.
“Without the players I am nothing,” said Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi. “They are the main ones. I suppose the staff played its part in guiding the players but they applied the instructions incredibly well.”
Mikel calls time on Super Eagles career
Super Eagles’ skipper, Mikel Obi has retired from international football stating that it was time to allow youths to take over. 32-year-old Obi made the disclosure via his Instagram handle @mikel_john_obi on Thursday, after leading the side to the third place of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
He made his debut at AFCON in the 2006 tournament hosted by Egypt.
“Egypt is a country where I started and have finished my national career. In 2006, I played my first official championship for my country.
‘‘2019 African Cup of Nations marks my last championship for the national team with Super Eagles,” he wrote on his page.
The 32-year-old began his career in 2003.
“My national career started in 2003 under 17 World Cup and ‘am grateful to the national team for placing me on the world arena and giving me an opportunity to show my skills and have an incredible national and international career.
“At the age of 32, it’s time for me to retire from the national team and let the youth take over, we’ve done an amazing job by securing a bronze medal at AFCON 2019.
“Thank you to all my Nigerian supporters and to my country for all the trust, support and love you’ve shown me over the past 15 years.”
Mikel also won a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Nigeria matches into AFCON semi-finals
Super Falcons scrape into knockout stage
The Super Falcons on Thursday qualified for the knockout stages of the Women’s World Cup for the first time in 20 years. The Falcons have reached the knockout stages of the Women’s World Cup just once before now, a quarter-final appearance in the competition in the United States in 1999.
They will confront former champions Germany in the last 16 of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in Grenoble on Saturday.
The Falcons qualified as one of the best losers to the round of 16 after finishing third in Group A behind France and Norway but had to endure a torrid time before confirming their place in the last 16 of the event.
The African champions had ended their Group A campaign with three points, courtesy of a 2-0 win over the Korea Republic and losses to former champions Norway (3-0) and hosts France (1-0).
But they had to wait three days later after their final group game on Monday to know their fate.
And the Nigerians were almost left frustrated after Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses beat New Zealand 2-1, meaning they (Falcons) had to slip from third on the best third-placed teams table to fourth.
A 3-0 win for Chile over Thailand would have ended the Falcons dreams of qualification but having led 2-0, the South Americans lost a penalty late on in dramatic fashion to hand the Nigerians a spot in the knockout stage.
Cameroon also qualified as one of the third best-placed teams, thus making it the first time two Africans will reach the knockout stages of the competition.