As Liverpool prepare to carry the Premier League standard when they take on legendary La Liga side Real Madrid in the final of the UEFA Champions League at the Stade de France in Paris tonight, the presence of Jürgen Klopp’s Reds could be seen as yet another ominous warning for football on a wider scale across the continent.
For the fourth time in the last five installments of Europe’s premier club competition, at least one Premier League side has reached the final, which includes two all-English editions.
A similar landscape was so nearly crafted this season if not for late heroics by Real Madrid, putting a pause to another all-English affair that would have given another opportunity for Manchester City to clash with Klopp’s men for major honors this season.
Football already has a Super League pic.twitter.com/enHV6ADzvj
— Stefan Bienkowski (@SBienkowski) May 28, 2022
But the writing may already be on the wall when it comes to Premier League clubs pushing for Champions League glory after the Financial Times’ John Burn-Murdoch highlighted the financial data around the perennial growth of English football and why it could lead the Champions League to become another playground for English elite.
Though football in Europe recently diverted from the efforts of many of its elite to form a continental Super League, the reality is that the Premier League already has the honor of that particular label.
As highlighted by Burn-Murdoch, going back to 2007-08 reveals Premier League clubs’ total revenues to be £1 billion higher than those of La Liga, via the Deloitte annual review. However, today that gap has grown by more than double to a whopping £2.4 billion, and has shown no signs of slowing down.
The Premier League posted £3.1 billion earnings for television rights in 2021-22, compared with La Liga’s £1.8 billion. That disparity is set to increase considering that La Liga’s television rights package will shrink down to £1.6 billion, while the Premier League’s equivalent will continue to trend upward to £3.4 billion (via Football Benchmark analysis).
And the massive gap in net transfer spending fees highlighted by the Telegraph’s Stefan Bienkowski shows the type of buying power that the top flight of English football already possesses by comparison to the rest of the top five leagues in Europe, which is the chief reason why a club like Aston Villa can secure moves for both Boubacar Kamara and Diego Carlos.
The pulling power of the Premier League will only grow as well, as Chelsea are on the verge of securing new ownership after parting ways with Roman Abramovich, and Newcastle bought by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, which, as Burn-Murdoch points out, means that nearly every single club in the Premier League next season will be owned by a multi-billionaire.
What does this mean for the Champions League; a competition that still plays host to titans of the European game the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, and Bayern Munich?
As the ridiculous level of talent in the player pool in England continues to swell with the best that the continent has to offer – many drawn by mercenary wages, while others relish the chance to prove themselves in the best league in the world for a top-six side – there are few clubs outside of England’s borders that will be able to compete with the financial muscle and deep star-studded squads that English clubs will be able to boast.
While Real Madrid still have every chance of beating Liverpool tonight in the Champions League final, the massive financial muscle that has begun to burst at the seams across English football has enough momentum to steamroll Europe if left unchecked.
The writing may already be on the wall.
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