Source: Pep Team via Facebook
The Premier League is without a doubt one of the most financially attractive sports leagues in the world. Due to increased TV deals and sponsorship money, the global investor appeal of the league has meant that many top flight English clubs are now owned by foreign investors. Of course, the reasons for wanting to own a top English football team vary greatly. The outpouring of grief following the tragic death of Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha served to show just how a football club should be run; contrast this with the ownership of Mike Ashley or Venky’s at former Premier League side Blackburn and it’s not difficult to see why the Thai billionaire was so well thought of.
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With that being said, more foreign investors than ever before are now starting to dig deep in their pockets. Consequently, it seems that many clubs are faced with the prospect of being left behind if they don’t follow suit. Without trying to belabour the point, Newcastle are a prime example of a club who are massively underachieving due to a lack of funding. Thanks to the managerial brilliance of Rafa Benitez, the Magpies have managed to put together back to back home wins in the Premier League. However, the club still finds itself languishing near the foot of the table and, with no marquee summer signings to speak of, Benitez will once again have to make do with a squad that proved unfit for purpose last season.
At the other end of the table, big spenders Manchester City look good to land their second Premier League title under Pep Guardiola. After easily brushing aside derby rivals Manchester United last Sunday, City are now 1/4 with most Premier League betting firms to retain their crown come May. In the last decade, City have spent more money than any other team in Europe and, after winning trophies under Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and now Pep Guardiola, you could certainly say that the initial outlay has justified itself. On the other hand, neighbours Manchester United are living, breathing proof that big spending can only get you so far in the Premier League. Despite Jose Mourinho’s recent grumblings over transfers and spending, Mourinho has had ample funding in order to rebuild Manchester United; he’s just not used it as effectively as other managers.
It does seem that, in the modern day, Premier League teams have to spend in order to compete. The biggest example of this can be seen when looking at the transfer activity of the three newly promoted clubs. Cardiff, Wolves and Fulham have spent a record amount of money over the summer in an attempt to retain their Premier League status and even the high profile signings of players such as Jean Michael Seri haven’t been able to help the latter off the foot of the table. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Eddie Howe seems to be making a good fist of things at Bournemouth without breaking the bank. In addition to this, Spurs have flourished under Mauricio Pochettino without really spending much money but this is both a testament to the manager’s ability and the wealth of talent which was already at the club when the Argentinian arrived back in 2014. For the moment though, it appears that, unless a club is willing to spend big, the chances of success are minimal at best.