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Prem teams are revolutionising football but there is one worrying trend



PREMIER LEAGUE clubs are continuing to revolutionise high-level football — as they have in the 31 years since the competition was founded.

From an English view that’s good, beyond the Channel, not so.

As the divergence from Europe grows, it’s a kind of accidental Brexit that works. Making much more money, filling stadiums and attracting star players.

The big leagues on the Continent don’t like the way things are going, either.

In some ways I sympathise because the Prem has become a magnetic attraction to many of the world’s best players and to the world’s TV audiences. That can’t be easy to take.


But at a time of difficulty for many people here, it wouldn’t be surprising if there was some gloating that, in the one area common to a lot of us, we are top dogs, feeding off the juiciest bones.

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Before we bark too loudly, though, the fact that we can outbid the Europeans in the transfer market has dangers.

I admire Chelsea’s Truss-like attitude to spending £285.8million in the last month and I then wonder what will happen if they potter about and fail to generate a Champions League place this season or next.

Manchester United tried to buy their way back to the top and it became clear something more than money was needed, starting with love and care from the owners.

“All you need is love,” The Beatles sang. And without it from top to bottom, the engine grates and the ride is bumpy.

All bar the giant clubs of Europe are beginning to fear the might of pound sterling as it is wielded here, even if they appreciate the cash-cade that will boost Benfica after the British-record £106m sale of Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea.

There are others grateful for the millions that land in their bank accounts but they also know the damage the sale of a star can inflict on their ambitions.

For them, though, sustainability is everything and fresh money is welcome funding.


This instant transfusion became a wasted dream for teams in the Championship, whose reputation as a talent factory has ruptured. Unbelievably, in all our spending last month, only £25m went to second-tier clubs.

That is worrying. It means that either their academies are not producing outstanding young players or that the top teams have attracted the vast majority of them.

Just take a look at the Premier League squads, too, and it will soon become clear that they are propped up by talented players from dozens of countries, seeking riches in our Hollywood league.

To many players, the temptations of a move here are immense — a Porsche-style living and the type and quality of football. Allied to the agent’s hunger for a big fee, persuasion is practically complete.

An example: Flamengo’s top midfield prospect, Brazilian Joao Gomes, turned down a better offer from Ligue 1’s Lyon to join Wolves because, he said: “I want to play in the Premier League.”

A total £2.8bn has gone on transfers this season, more than in the Bundesliga, LaLiga, Ligue 1 and Serie A combined — fundamentally a result of the Premier League’s far superior TV contracts.

This differential leads to my belief that we have the biggest league in the world, greater in overall impact even than the Champions League — which, after all, is half-league half-cup and involves a select group from the previous season.

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Nice work if you can get it. But make it to the Premier League and club and player are guaranteed at least a year of fame, money and, yes, fear of losing them.

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly splashed the cash in the transfer window

Source: The Sun

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