The amount of money in the English Premier League is making football less competitive.
Over the last 15 years the English Premier League and its clubs have enjoyed such an influx of money that it can call itself the richest league in the world. However, has all this wealth at the top end of the beautiful game been shared around too few clubs, and made football less competitive?
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Only 4 clubs have a realistic chance of winning the league
Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, now have so much money that there is a huge financial gulf between them and the other 16 Premier League clubs.
As a result, the English Premier League title can only be realistically competed by these four teams as the other 16 teams do not have the resources to challenge the ‘Big Four’.
Also, individual matches between ‘Big Four’ teams and one of the 16 other teams are less competitive as the ‘Big Four’ teams have far more quality players at their disposal due to their financial superiority.
A big influx of money into a club could quickly make them break the top 4. This could be about to happen with Manchester City and did happen to an extent with Chelsea.
The English Premier League is making cup competitions less competitive
The wealth enjoyed by English Premier League clubs, in particular Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool has led to their dominance in cup competitions and thus made these competitions less competitive.
In the FA Cup, although this year has been an exception, for the past 13 years has been won by one of the ‘Big Four’ teams, and in the last 13 years 5 finals have been between two ‘Big Four’ teams.
In the UEFA Champions League, the most prestigious club competition in Europe, in the past two seasons 3 of the 4 semi-finalists have been Premier League ‘Big Four’ clubs as even other big European clubs cannot compete financially with ‘Big Four’ clubs.
Clubs not in the English Premier League now have less quality in their team.
The wealth enjoyed by Premier League clubs has allowed them to have more money for wages and transfer fees than clubs not in the Premier League.
As a result, clubs not in the Premier league now find it more difficult to keep their best players when a Premier League club is interested due to the Premier League's financial dominance.
It is also more difficult for a club not in the Premier League to attract a quality player if a Premier League club is interested
Outside the 'Big Four', the English Premier League is very competitive
Clubs outside the 'Big Four' have reacted to the 'Big Four's' superiority by adding to their wealth, mainly through foreign investment, to compete on the pitch.
As a result, many Premier League clubs boast a greater quality of player, making the league more competitive and of a higher quality.
Financial superiority doesn't necessarily mean less competitive football
The sport of football is such that, while money may buy you the best players, it may not necessarily win you competitions.
Matches and competitions are won by the best teams, and while money is important in this, good management and playing attitude, and luck, are just as, if not more important.
FA Cup giant killing shocks are just as prevalent today even though the gulf in finances is far greater than it has ever been, with Barnsley's successes against Liverpool and Chelsea is a prime example if this.
What do you think?