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English Premier League Playing Fair?

10 years ago

For many people the Premier League sums up everything that is wrong with modern day football, while for many others it is a fantastic success story that has transformed domestic football.

What is beyond doubt is that the creation of the Premier League has facilitated a huge increase in both the amount of money in the English game and the worldwide audience via the TV deals.

While there is a very valid argument that more money should go to the tiers of English football below the top division, what about how the money is divided between the twenty teams in the Premier League. Surely England can’t be setting a good example, can they?

Last season Manchester City received £60.6m via the TV deals, while bottom club Wolves had a return of £39.1m, this meant the biggest difference in the Premier League was 1.55 to 1 in terms of how the money was shared out, roughly one and a half times as much.

Over in Spain where the clubs do their own deals, the top two of Barcelona and Real Madrid  got around 14  times as much cash each as those at the bottom, something that the likes of Liverpool’s American owners dream of emulating.

In Italy the difference is as large as 10 to 1, France is around  4 to 1, while Germany’s Bundesliga gets closest to the’ industry leading’ English model with their top clubs grabbing twice as much as those at the bottom.

Maybe the reasons for the surprising fairness in the English system is the sheer amount of money on offer to go around and the trade-offs necessary to keep clubs happy who are outside the elite group at the top of the Premier League.

Certainly Newcastle’s share of £54.2m last season looks pretty decent with Manchester City earning little more than 10% more for actually winning it.



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