The failures of the English Premier League
The creation of the English Premier League in the early 1990's saw the domestic English game take off as a massive global sporting brand. There had always been interest in the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United across the world. With the revolution of the Premiership new regions were able to be commercially exploited. The influx of Sky television money and massive corporate sponsorship from the likes of Carlsberg, Sony, Carling, JVC and AIG propelled the balance sheets of the Premier league teams to a different level.
At the peak of the television deals, even lowly or newly promoted teams were able to offer ridiculous amounts of money to international players as a weekly wage. Bradford City when in the top flight were able to pay an international class player over £30,000 per week basic as little as a decade ago. Bradford City are now in the lower levels of the league structure and the money they spent on the player has left the English game. The huge amount of money which initially made the league the envy of the world maybe slowly killing the long-term future of the English game.
The Premier League of England has been able to attract far more exotic international talent than the football league had previously been able to achieve. The influx of foreign superstars is a double edged sword for the good of the English game. On the positive view, the top class foreign super stars are a good attraction to fans, they demonstrate their skills to the younger players, and offer greater options for advertising revenues. The main drawback of foreign stars in the English game is it limits the flow of fresh homegrown talent into the first team squads. Also the money spent on buying foreign players has the negative effect of money leaving the English league.
Now nearly two decades since the inception of the Premier League we find several teams in financial turmoil, including the prize assets of Manchester United and Liverpool. Teams such as Chelsea and Manchester City have become the effective toys of billionaire businessmen from Russia and Dubai. We find our clubs buying cheaper players from abroad and our young players are unable to break through into the managers starting elevens. Could we eventually see what started out as a major success in sports planning and financial management, implode and ruin the greatest league in the world?
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