As the rest of the nation mourned what might have been, traders on Football INDEX had hardly had a chance to draw breath while the World Cup dividends came to an exciting ending. Indexers had quickly shifted focus and now have next season’s Match Day Dividends firmly in their crosshairs.
When this new feature that was introduced last year many dubbed it “a lottery” however, we have now seen that the crème rises to the top on many occasions not only on an individual level but with teams too. In fact 23% of all dividends were won by the top 5 returning teams and 41% was accumulated when you increase the pool to the top 10 returning teams, which is quite impressive considering the number of days these teams won’t have been competing for dividends at all, or the huge levels of competition on treble match days. If those probabilities were that of a lottery, I’d definitely start buying tickets.
So clearly, teams have an impact on a players Match Day score, and when you look at the teams individually, you can see why. It’s unsurprising that the winners of all five European leagues are present in the top ten list since the difference between winning and losing is always at least 33 points in the Match Day rankings. It’s also unsurprising that the winners of both European competitions also fall inside the top ten, with the extra games and reduced player pools for top dividends giving them a huge boost. However, Barcelona are an exception as they are ranked tenth even though they won the third highest number of league games shows. This shows that winning doesn’t guarantee dividends.
Another factor that can affect dividends quite heavily is passes, although they’re only one point, they all add up. In fact, nine of the teams with the most passes last season are inside the top ten dividend returners, of course, having more passes is also linked to having more possession, dominating games and probably links to more corners, shots and goals, which inevitably mean more points, but even still, it shows passes are a good indicator of dividend potential.
In this article, I’m focusing on these top teams and more specifically, seeing just how much of a team effort their place in the top returners chart is. Starting from the top, the champions of Europe for a third time of asking, Real Madrid. Although the Spanish giants were a disappointment in the league last season, their Champions League triumphs helped them land the top spot with a huge £2.86 being won between 12 dividend winners. To demonstrate exactly how much the Champions League aided Los Blancos, I calculated how much of their total yield came from the Champions League. The answer? £1.20. That’s almost as much as Spanish champions Barcelona yielded all season. Ronaldo (AKA Mr Champions League) was the highest yielder with three wins totalling £0.28, While Marcelo and Modric also managed to pick up a couple of Treble-day wins.
Second on the list are the champions of England, Manchester City, who picked up £2.73 in dividends over the season, which considering their relatively disappointing Champions League campaign (and therefore lack of reduced player pool games) is quite impressive. The problem with trying to reap these rewards is knowing who to buy. Pep’s play means anyone and everyone in the team is capable of producing a dividend winning performance, and with no single star man, trying to bring in a large number of dividends often means owning several players in the team is much more beneficial than it is in many other big teams. This is evidenced by the fact City’s highest yielding player (David Silva) yielded just 19.8% of the teams’ dividends compared to the average of 30% across the top 10 yielding teams.
Further down the list is a similar story for Arsenal, whose players really did share the spoils. Their highest yielder was Aaron Ramsey with just £0.36 making them the only team on the list who’s top performer didn’t hit at least £0.50 in dividends. They also had the most individual winners with fourteen players picking up dividends throughout the season. This is mainly due to the Europa League campaign which saw the team rotated quite heavily throughout the season.
One notable surprise comes from the Spanish champions, who, despite going almost unbeaten in the league and scoring ninety-nine goals, only mustered up £1.56 in dividends all season, with almost 60% of that coming from Messi. Aside from the Goat, only Suarez managed to actually pick up more than one win, making it one to forget for the Catalonian giants when it comes to dividends.
So that’s last year, but what next? Well, of course, predicting this involves a lot of speculation and the transfer season could still have a major impact on next seasons outcomes but here are a few predictions of how next season’s top ten dividend yielding teams may look from what we already know. Firstly, I’d expect a change at the top, I think a better European campaign from the Citizens coupled with another dominating domestic display could see them break the £3 mark for team returns. I still think they’ll see a spread across the board with no dominant dividend winner, however, if they make it into the latter stages of the Champions League, I think Kevin De Bruyne could shine in the reduced player pools as we’ve just seen him do in the World Cup.
As for the current leaders, I think a slide down the dividend-table is ahead. Madrid looked shaky last season at times and was hugely boosted by the Champions League. With Ronaldo leaving, a fourth CL trophy in a row is almost out the question and they’ve also lost their highest dividend yielder at the same time. If Bale can stay fit he could potentially rack up £0.50+ however, and if Isco can nail down a starting place he could be a real Match Day Dividend demon but I don’t expect those to be enough to make up the difference and keep Madrid at the top.
Presuming Neymar stays put, PSG could jump up the rankings next year with a fully fit Neymar, having yielded £0.69 alone before his season was cut short in March. In fact, PSG only produced £0.52 in dividends from the middle of February to the end of the season, whereas many of the top teams did exactly the opposite.
Like the other half of Madrid, Atletico could easily slip down the ranking having picked up a lot of returns in the Europa League. One team that could take their place, however, is Chelsea. Not only do they have a new manager in the shape of Italian legend Sarri but they also have a good opportunity to put his passing principles into practice in the Europa League. A competition they could really fancy their chances in. Now Hazard’s been changed to a forward by Opta he could definitely run riot should he choose to stay in London that is.
So there we have it, teams really do matter when it comes to dividends. Do you have any thoughts on the points or predictions raised in this article? Feel free to @ me on twitter @FootballindexLM with your thoughts!
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