The Premier League is the richest league in the world, raking in over £3bn per year, but it has not mattered one iota to the performances of the English national sides.
The England Under-21 side arrived in Israel for the European Championship Finals on the back of a nine match-winning streak that had seen them net 22 times without reply. The expectation of the nation rose as Stuart Pearce led his young lions into his fourth major under-21 tournament. Then in the first game of the Championships England were humiliated at the hands of a young Italian side whose 1 v 0 victory masked the true nature of a game that was as one-sided as you are ever going to get.
In the ensuing press conference Pearce described the performance as ‘awful and stagnant’ and if they lose their next match against Norway in Petah Tivka on Saturday they will fail to qualify for the knockout stages.
“I thought the performance was very poor and the best team won the game.” Said Pearce after the game.
The performance of the national side is generally a good barometer when it comes to the strength of the domestic league. If the performances of the English national sides is anything to go by then the Premier League has a lot of work to do if it is going to fight for its right to be named as the most talented league in the world.
But the Premier League has never been about talent. Instead they prefer the moniker of ‘exciting’ and the chase for this crown is leaving the English national side in a state of disarray.
The recent German domination of the European Champions League will result in a great performance from the German national side when the World Cup hits the Samba beat next summer. Had the event been taking place in Europe they would be the favorites of that there is no doubt. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund pulled the Spanish duo of Real Madrid and Barcelona to pieces in the semi-finals of the Champions League. The once mighty duo was also responsible for the rise in prominence of the current World and European Champions Spain.
In England we have to make do with a completely different title. The title of blood, sweat, tears, end-to-end action and money. Nobody within the Premier League circles cares about talent, skill and the English national side. They only care about the green and there is a lot of it floating about.
According to Deloitte’s Annual Review of Football Finance, the Premier League is the world’s richest league with a total turnover of over £2.3bn per year.
“These are very impressive figures in this economic climate. This is especially true when you consider that, from next season, Premier League income from broadcasting alone will rise by £500m. Despite the recession we always thought sport, and football in particular, would be resilient.” Alan Switzer, director of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, told the Sun newspaper.
When the nations purse strings are pulled tight, the last thing to be cut from the budget is the football fans season ticket. Football will always be a booming business in the UK, with fans spending their last few pennies to watch end-to-end football that never wins anything on the national stage.
The second richest league is the German Bundesliga with a turnover of £1.5bn. In fact, in 2011-2012 the Bundesliga actually made more profit than the Premier League due to the massively inflated players wages in the British Isles. When Manchester City won the Premier League last year they became the first club to do so with a wage bill of more than £200m.
Total salary costs in the Premier League have risen by 64% with no signs that it is going to do anything but rise even further, and the summer spending spree has already begun with the likes of Ferdandinho headed to the Etihad Stadium for a reported £30m.