The Year That Was, Thanks To COVID-19

COVID-19, the pandemic that swept

across the globe and dictated the lifestyle of billions for the past year has
had a huge impact on life as we know it. The sporting world fell to the mercy
of Covid-19 but despite this it brought entertainment and enjoyment to many
during this difficult year.

COVID-19, the pandemic that swept

across the globe and dictated the lifestyle of billions for the past year has
had a huge impact on life as we know it. The sporting world fell to the mercy
of Covid-19 but despite this it brought entertainment and enjoyment to many
during this difficult year.

Football like many other sports was
brought to a standstill. Grassroots football was the first to go as countries implemented
restrictions on large gatherings. Many professional leagues came to an abrupt
halt in early March as most countries went into complete lockdown.

Football Associations across the world
were unsure what the next step was. The lockdown was difficult for clubs, big
and small. Some Players began taking wage cuts to decrease the cost of running
of the clubs during the lockdowns. Even with these precautions numerous numbers
of staff lost their jobs within the footballing community.

Leagues across Europe were postponed,
and league winners were being declared without their league even finishing. Paris
St Germain were declared Ligue 1 winners with 68 points from 27 matches while each
team usually plays 38 games a season.

Other league organisers just delayed
their leagues, such as the English Premier League which resumed on the 17th
of June. International Football took a hit as well and the Euros were postponed
a year until 2021.

Despite the ongoing health crisis,
2020 had some memorably footballing moments. Domestically Shamrock Rovers won a
shortened League (half a League only!) while Dundalk won the FAI Cup and
qualified for the Europa League group stage playing against Arsenal, Molde
& Rapid Wien. (Unfortunately, the fans were robbed of some great away days!).

Bayern Munich were crowned champions
of Europe after beating PSG 1-0 in the Champions League Final. COVID-19 had its
impact on this competition as the quarter finals were only played in one leg
which saw some extremely exciting games.

Another huge story was Liverpool
winning the English Premier League for the first time since its existence. Although
once again there were no fans allowed to celebrate in the stadiums.

Clubs have been forced to make many
changes since the pandemic. Players are constantly being tested and are under strict
restrictions. COVID-19 positive players are not allowed to play and must go
into self-isolation.

Clubs are beginning to realise the
importance of different sources of income other than matchday tickets. Sponsorships,
club merchandise and TV viewing rights were of huge significance to keeping
clubs above float.

Now at the end of 2020 fans are (for
now though for how long nobody knows!), gradually retuning to stadiums in some
countries. Fans eagerly wait for football to be back to normal, they are left
wondering, what is next for the Footballing World in the Year 2021 ? Will
things remain in turbulence for another year? Will stadiums open their doors to
fans? Or will fans have to support their clubs from afar through a screen
again?

Only time will tell but for now we
want to wish all our friends and followers a safe, healthy and prosperous New
Year!

liam@halpinsportsponsorship.com

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