Welcome Notice

Hello and welcome to Molineux Mix a forum for Wolves fans by Wolves fans.

Register Log in

Premier League transfer window 2022: Every league in Europe is now dependent on astronomical English spending

Status
Not open for further replies.
D

Daniel Storey

Guest
In 2020, when the revenues of football clubs were decimated by Covid-19’s financial impact, there was much discussion of whether the Premier League was recession-proof. We were asking the wrong question. The Premier League was not weakened by the global financial and health crisis; it was strengthened.

Premier League spending temporarily dropped; that was inevitable. But between 2019 and 2020, the total value of transfer fees in England’s top flight fell by roughly nine per cent (compared to around 65 per cent in La Liga) and has rebounded since. For all that its elite clubs pleaded poverty as an excuse to launch their European Super League plot, it was nothing but a mirage. Across Europe, actors mithered about declining budgets. In the Premier League, the show must always go on.

So far this summer, the 20 Premier League clubs have spent roughly £600 million net on transfer fees. Add up the totals from the other four major leagues (Spain, Germany, Italy and France) and you fall someway short of half that total. Barcelona count for almost half of it. They are selling their future to invest in the present. In England, clubs have the luxury of doing both.

That doesn’t just reinforce the Premier League’s strength; it makes it the kingmaker of European football. This summer, clubs across Europe have relied upon Premier League spending to fuel their own: 44 per cent of all fees received by Bundesliga clubs are from England’s top 20. The same is roughly true in France (40 per cent), Portugal (42 per cent) and the Netherlands (45 per cent). The positive spin is the Premier League money makes the world turn. The bleaker assessment is that every other league has become dependent upon, and therefore subservient to, its spending.

More on Premier League
Man City vs Liverpool for the title? A third Premier League challenger seems unlikely06 August, 2022
Gabriel Jesus shines and William Saliba looks absolutely ready in Arsenal's winning start05 August, 2022
Why Premier League clubs changed back to five subs - and how it actually works05 August, 2022
This all becomes irrevocably self-fulfilling. The history of European football is defined by eras in which leagues have taken it turns to demonstrate their own dominance, but it’s hard to see how anyone can cope with the Premier League’s economic might. It has the most money and so attracts the best players and coaches, which increases the value of the product and therefore the earning power; the cycle begins again.

There will be interest in individual fixtures (El Clasico, Milan derby) and the European endeavours of individual clubs (Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain). But as a league – earning power, global audience, social media engagement, PR – nothing rivals England and its comparative strength is growing exponentially.

Within the Premier League, there are obvious stratas that are, to an extent, also governed by financial strength. We talk of a Big Six (to the annoyance of some supporters of clubs outside the group) because at the last count Arsenal (sixth highest) had a revenue of more than €110m higher than Leicester (seventh highest). For all the self-imposed crises at some of those clubs, they have finished as the top six in four of the last six seasons.

That is reflected in their spending this summer. The Big Six account for almost exactly half of all Premier League transfer fees paid, a percentage that will surely increase as Chelsea and Manchester United continue to spend in August. Only three clubs outside that six have spent more than £60m on transfer fees. Leeds did it by selling their two best players; Nottingham Forest had no choice with five first-team players on loan last season; West Ham finished seventh with a thin squad that needed depth.

That creates a division in which there are three obvious mini-leagues heading into 2022-23. The Big Six form one – whatever you think about Manchester United’s summer they are still clear favourites to finish in the top six. Then comes a set of clubs who considered (or have recently considered) themselves to be upwardly mobile: West Ham, Newcastle, Villa, Brighton, Palace, Leicester.

More from Sport
Boxing Tonight: Ortiz Jr looks to avoid banana skin Brit as Shalom admits boxing 'must improve'06 August, 2022
Man City vs Liverpool for the title? A third Premier League challenger seems unlikely06 August, 2022
Indomitable Springboks are the worst possible opponents for an All Blacks side in crisis06 August, 2022
And then there’s the rest: Forest, Fulham, Bournemouth, Brentford, Everton, Southampton, Wolves, Leeds. Success will be defined by the ability to flourish within those mini-leagues. Anyone who rises or falls into another mini-league can objectively conclude that their season has been a great success or worrying failure.

Financial strength fuels desperation. The economic gap between the Premier League and Championship grows every season. The relegation battle can often become more fascinating than the title race, given the penalties for falling short and the micro-margins between success and failure. At the top, there is always next season. At the bottom, second chances should be treated like gold dust.

But more than anything, it is the financial strength of the league that fuels global excitement as another season begins. The obsession with transfer culture dictates as much – the title race has already been distilled in some places to Erling Haaland vs Darwin Nunez. Will Arsenal spending £270m in 15 months take them back into the Champions League? Do the overhauls at Leeds and Forest make them the two most fascinating clubs in the division? These are the questions that the world is asking. We will spend the next nine months arguing, deliberating and discovering the answers.

Continue reading...
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom