The English Premier League- The best and worst of times
The English Premier League (EPL) is arguably the most exciting soccer league in the world and it certainly goes without saying that it’s one of the most watched leagues across the globe. However, there is some uncertainty about how long the EPL will continue to reign supreme in world football, especially as other leagues, like La Liga and Serie A, have made significant strides in building their brand in both domestic and international markets. What does this mean for clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool? How will these clubs cope with declining revenues and dwindling fan support at home?
There are five teams in England that truly dominate, each one with a handful of top tier players. Manchester United is owned by Americans and is widely popular across Europe. Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho might be gone, but he left a winning legacy that will live on. Arsenal has had several ups and downs recently, but for most of its existence it’s been one of England’s most dominant clubs. Then there are Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, who both have passionate fan bases but haven’t won much lately either.
Big Money, Big Problems
When a struggling club like West Bromwich Albion pays nearly $100 million for a player, everyone notices. When Manchester City slaps down $54 million for England’s number one goalkeeper (Joe Hart), people take notice. These are two recent examples of an explosion in soccer spending that began in early 2010 with a handful of huge transfers: oil tycoon Roman Abramovich spent £50 million on Fernando Torres from Liverpool, sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan purchased Manchester City FC for £180 million ($300 million), and Malcolm Glazer took over iconic Scottish team Rangers FC (whose stadium was dubbed Scotland’s Craziest Arena by none other than Eminem) for £60 million ($100 million). These guys weren’t messing around.
It’s harder for a smaller club to compete in today’s Premiership. With increased player salaries (around £200,000 per week), it can be hard for smaller clubs to hold onto their most valuable players. It’s not uncommon for clubs like Leicester City or Stoke City to spend £20 million on a single player while still operating under financial fair play rules. This leads to a lot of mediocrity in lower divisions, where only one team gets promoted from each division every year.
Many Americans are only familiar with American Football, so it might surprise you to learn that in many parts of Europe, Soccer is king. The biggest Soccer league in Europe is currently England’s Barclays Premier League (EPL), which has a strong international following as well. While both leagues have their similarities, they also have some big differences. Today we’ll compare and contrast two sports: NFL vs EPL