FTK Blog: The real class will remain with the top three.

The Premier league is fast becoming a self fulfilling prophecy. The fact that so many clubs have lived beyond their means is manifest by the three tiered nature of the league. The mighty top four, the mediocre Europa league places and middle section with finally the basement drop zone for relegation. The spread of points can mean that any side putting together two wins can elevate themselves by sometimes as much as ten places up the league. Yet something is emerging which will destroy the very product that has become a world leader. If you listen to those responsible for marketing the premier league they will insist that this an exciting league where they claim the appeal is that almost everyone can beat anyone else. But looking at the stats, this is more smoke and mirrors than reality.
So is the league becoming more competitive? I would argue not. The top teams still only lose around five or six games a season. The middle ranking teams lose considerably more. What has changed is the greater inconsistency of this middle layer that gives the impression of teams getting closer. Why is this? The fact is that negative tactics have brought about a siege mentality. In a results driven business where the bottom line is funded by a vast debt mountain so that even the parachute payments upon exiting this elite club may not be enough to prevent administration. Chairmen scramble to retain their place at the Premiership table and what is Mr Richard Scudamore’s answer? Instead of grasping the nettle, and forcing clubs to be more prudent and live within their means, The league have produced yet another reason for going into more debt.
The Champions league pre-qualifying fourth place is the carrot currently being dangled in front of the clubs. 14 of the 20 clubs are in favour. The Top four unsurprisingly are against, with two outliers. If the scheme is passed then the fourth place scramble next season will get ever more intense. Chasing the dream of the Champions League attracts agents, hefty player salaries, but not good attractive football. The likes of Tottenham and Everton in a gruelling play off will add more money to the Premier League coffers, and extend the season still further putting a strain on clubs in terms of injuries. But will it produce better and more attractive football? No way. Wake up and smell the coffee guys. What has also been conviently ignored in this grand scheme are the costs for the long suffering cash cow called the football supporter. I am convinced that not only is this proposal ill conceived, but as a result it will end up in tears for the Premier league as more teams plunge themselves into ever more unsustainable debts. Remember if Platini and UEFA get their way, it is likely that the incumbents of the fourth place will be disqualified from the champions league on financial grounds anyway.
The so called “Premier league product” will suffer too. Imagine the scenarios, with more debts, the currently poorly managed clubs will have another excuse to live a dream that will never come true. The spectacle of negative football will increase. The very selling point of the Premier league will go into a steep decline as sterile result after sterile result beckons. This is dumming down at it’s worse and if adopted it will hasten the decline of the Premier League. Broadcasters want big name players, top skills and lots of action. The play offs will result in an over cautious defensive negative approach by clubs in fifth to seventh place. This scheme will not produce an exhilarating adrenaline soaked play off, but rather just a drab extended penalty tournament. The real class will remain with the top three and the true divisions within the league at a stroke will have got even wider.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know