Amid Russia Fever, Money Still Speaks Loudest to Premier League Clubs
The attention of the soccer world is still firmly fixed upon the World Cup in Russia. For the powerhouses of club soccer, the quadrennial tournament is the only time that it is not business as usual. But that ‘business’ does not altogether come to a halt. Fresh from signing lucrative new broadcasting deals with BT, Sky and even Amazon, the EPL clubs will be emboldened to once again break transfer records and plunder the best performers from Russia.
They have the money too. Huddersfield Town, a club who were in League One just a few years ago, received over £100,000,000 in prize money ($133 million) for coming in 17th in the Premier League last season. That’ll give a club from a small town in Yorkshire more spending power than the likes of Lazio, Borussia Dortmund or Valencia.
Big 6 pulling away from the rest
Clubs know that standing still is not an option, you must spend big to achieve parity. You must spend bigger again to move forward. But, despite even the most modest Premier League clubs being able to outspend more glamorous European rivals, there is still a pecking order in the Premier League. But the pecking order breeds predictability. In the long term, that could hurt the Premier League ‘product’.
Let’s examine the odds for next season’s title race. Karamba, like others, has installed Manchester City as the overwhelming favourites, pricing them at 20/31 to win a second successive title. They are followed by Liverpool (11/2), Manchester United (13/2), Chelsea (11/1), Tottenham (13/1) and Arsenal (28/1). After that, all the teams’ odds are in triple figures. 2016 champions Leicester City, for example, are priced at 250/1.
Germany and Italy less competitive
Those odds tell us that it is, once again, highly unlikely that a team can break the dominance enjoyed by the ‘Big 6’ clubs. Sure, the Premier League is unpredictable in a game by game basis, part of the reason why reading top football betting tips is essential, but over the course of a season we really know what to expect. Perhaps Arsenal are somewhat vulnerable at the moment, but it would certainly be a massive shock if anyone overtook them.
Does it really matter if there are essentially two leagues within the Premier League; the mini league between the Big 6 and the one between the other 14 clubs? Perhaps not. The Premier League bosses will point to the Bundesliga (Bayern Munich 4/27 odds to be champions) and Serie A (Juventus are 4/7 for the Scudetto) as proof that the Premier League is competitive. There may be only six teams with a serious chance, but it’s better than one team having a procession towards the title each season. Munich and Juventus will be aiming for their seventh and eighth successive league titles respectively this season, whereas no team has retained the Premier League title in a decade.
Transfer records will be broken again
So, once the World Cup has come to an end, it will be interesting to see the scramble to start signing players before the transfer window slams shut. Hundreds of millions will be spent to keep the status quo. It is working for now, with more fans than ever watching the action. But not everyone supports the Big 6. It might just be that, in the future, fans demand that more than six clubs be in with a chance of glory.