HomeFootball NewsIs the Premier League already becoming the much anticipated Super League?

Is the Premier League already becoming the much anticipated Super League?

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The Premier League has dominated Europe over recent years when it comes to transfer spending power, audience, competitiveness and results on the field. But how has the EPL become so strong and is it already a Super League?

Last season Manchester City won their first Champions League title, whilst West Ham were successful in the UEFA Europa Conference League at the same time as finishing 14th in the Premier League.

Over the past five seasons the Champions League has been won by a Premier League club on three occasions and in the Europa League English clubs have featured in four of the last eight finals.

The English top flight is now widely regarded as the best domestic league in the world, with clubs such as Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Newcastle and Aston Villa enjoying huge global support.

The proposed European Super League – which was prematurely launched only to immediately fall apart as a concept within days in 2021 – could still happen according to some.

Clubs such as Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Juventus appeared to cling on to the concept for a sustained period after the fallout of the failed April 2021 launch. An expanded Champions League and the financial recovery from the Covid-19 era could placate the big European clubs and halt the seemingly inevitable formation of a Super League.

Meanwhile, the Premier League is thriving. One of the biggest names in the game Erling Haaland joined City in the summer of 2022, to pay alongside stars such as Kevin de Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden.

Mo Salah remains a huge draw at Liverpool, whilst Manchester United have the likes of Marcus Rashford and Casemiro on the books, Arsenal’s project under Mikel Arteta appears the be gathering momentum and Chelsea have spent more than £600million on players in the last two years. Newcastle’s Saudi ownership gives them a springboard to join the top table.

The Premier League clubs have dominated the transfer windows over recent seasons in comparison to rival leagues, but how is it possible? Firstly, broadcasting deals for the Premier League are huge and it helps contribute to spending massively.

For the period of 2022-2025 the Premier League’s UK broadcast rights were sold for £5 billion whilst for overseas rights that figure was £5.05 billion, according to the Athletic.

By comparison, according to Spain’s La Liga figures as published on their own website they sold their domestic rights for a total of £4.2 billion for 2022-2027 and international audiovisual rights for £3.8 billion for 2019-24. This is far less money than the Premier League is getting per season.

The Athletic report that ‘Only the National Football League (NFL) and cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL) generate more domestic revenue per game than the English top flight.’

The competitiveness in the league is clear to see, making it so attractive for players to join and fans to watch. Whilst Manchester City have dominated when it comes to titles, the battle for the top four Champions League spots is highly anticipated.

The huge money earned from finishing between first and fourth is also significant, compared to finishing fifth and below.

With Premier League clubs spending so much money up and down the table, the technical level of each team is exceptional. This has led to top talents across the world seizing the opportunity to play in England to showcase their talent.

The Premier League’s list of manager (or head coaches) is also truly impressive with the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp, Mikel Arteta, Erik ten Hag, Mauricio Pochettino, Unai Emery, Roberto De Zerbi, Vincent Kompany, Eddie Howe and Julen Lopetegui aiming to outwit each other each weekend.

With such a huge audience for the 20 Premier League teams, incoming players will certainly get their opportunity in the spotlight, it’s just whether they can take the pressure or crumble under it.

Over recent seasons, highly-rated talents such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Kalidou Koulibaly, Jadon Sancho, Nicolas Pepe and Gianluca Scamacca have struggled to fully adjust to the Premier League after playing abroad.

The fast paced and physical football can prove to be an obstacle for some players and it certainly was for those.

Due to the top flight in England being so commercially successful, a team like Arsenal, for example, are able to fight off competitors from Europe for the potential £105 million signing of Declan Rice due to their financial muscle.

West Ham would then become stronger due to the transfer fee that they would get from the sale of Rice, meaning they can bring in high-quality players to strengthen for their forthcoming domestic and European campaigns.

In the Deloitte Football Money League 2023, of the 10 most valuable clubs in the world, six of them play in England. The remaining four are Real Madrid and Barcelona from Spain, Bayern Munich from Germany and PSG from France.

English football is only on the rise as well, with clubs continuing to reinvest not just on transfers but on their youth academies as well. With top class players such as Rice, Foden, Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka coming through the ranks at clubs in England, it allows teams to sell players for good amounts of money or strengthen their squads with homegrown talent.

The triumph of the England Under-21 team at the European Championships this summer only serves to further highlight English football’s current strength.

The team was packed with Premier League talents such as Newcastle’s Anthony Gordon, Burnley’s Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Chelsea’s Levi Colwill (on loan at Brighton last season), Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe, Liverpool’s Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott and Manchester City’s Cole Palmer and James Trafford – who is on the verge of signing for Burnley.

These are the next generation of Premier League stars. Who needs a Super League anyway?

 

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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