In 2016 it was announced that Premier league teams are to be handed new 50% surges in TV incomes. This was a year after it sold its television rights for a record £5.136bn, 71% more than the previous contract. It seems as though the Premier league is richer than before and is better than before. But if you look at the Champions league it looks as though only one English team will be making it through to the quarter final. Since Chelsea won the Champions league in 2012 we have had 2 semi finalists in the past 5 years. In that time Spain have had 8, Germany have been represented 5 times and Italy once. If you look at golden period between 2005 and 2012 we had a finalist every year except for 2010, including an all English final in 2008.
I believe this has come down to a number of reasons.
Successful home grown players at the core. If you look at the golden period of English teams in the Champions league we had four teams consistently making it out of the group. Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool. All four of these teams had British players at the heart of their teams. Utd had Scholes, Giggs, rooney and Ferdinand. Arsenal had Ashley Cole and Campbell, Chelsea had Terry, Lamport and Cole. Liverpool had Gerrard and Carragher. These were great British players who were key players for club and country. I think if you look at the best teams in recent years they all had homegrown players with key roles for their teams. Ramos, Alonso and Casillas for Madrid, Xavi, Iniesta and Messi for Barcelona and Lahm, Muller and Schweinsteiger for Munich. A lot of times the success of the leagues is affected by the quality of the national team. This could be a reason why a decline in the quality of performances in Europe coincides with the disappointing performances with the national team in comparison with the success of Germany, Spain and Italy.
Poor coaching. I think after Sir Alex Ferguson left United the benchmark in the Premier league was lowered and in Europe. We had a period where the English teams were trying to play in champions league games the way they would play in the Premier league which isn’t right. The Premier league is end to end action packed football. But the Champions league is much more tactical and possession based. Managers like Arsene Wenger and Pellegrini would go into big games with no clear game plan and would struggle against organised teams. I think this will change however with the great managers that came in last summer.
Closing gap bap between the top and bottom. When you look at these new broadcasting contracts now the smallest teams in the league can provide bigger wages than the big clubs from other teams in the big league. We now have players Shaqiri playing for Stoke, West Ham buying Payet and Crystal Palace spending £32 million. Just to put that into perspective Crystal Palace and Sevilla who are 3rd in La Liga spent roughly the same amount of money last summer. So in the Premier league we now have a more competitive league compared to other leagues, teams can’t rest players against smaller teams. This I think is a benefit to the big teams from other leagues who have a lot of games where they can comfortably win without playing with as much energy.