Author Topic: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?  (Read 1027 times)

Offline Linudden

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In the last two seasons, first two English clubs faced off in the Champions League during the ghost season of 2020-21 and then it should've been the same in 2021-22 but for late collapses by Chelsea and Man City.

This summer we've seen Nottingham Forest drain the coffers at a nine-figure amount, Brighton sell a fullback few people had heard about a year ago for 63 mil, Leicester maybe about to catch 85 mil for an inexperienced centre back and Wolves acquiring a midfielder that no doubt a few years ago would've been heading straight for either a top side in England or to the La Liga or Serie A. When the top clubs pay ever more for the lower clubs' players, they can do ever more raids on European top prospects and still make ends meet, unlike many teams in Southern Europe who can only sell to break even.

Are we actually about to hit critical mass here? That the Premier League is making other domestic leagues increasingly irrelevant? PSG have a very uncertain future. The Qataris have spoken of turning into a local team around Mbappť once the World Cup is over (more Parisians and fewer imports), Barcelona are about to drain the credit card for good, Real have less prestige than in living memory and Bayern have never been the biggest draw for the biggest stars due to the lower quality of the league. Meanwhile, Juventus have joined the other Italian sides as also-rans and Atlťtico Madrid's success is solely tied to Diego Simeone. Even that is becoming more dubious after a mediocre campaign last term. Then of course the likes of Marseille, Roma, Valencia, Benfica, Porto, Ajax, et cetera, these clubs winning the Champions League is simply no longer really possible for a long time in spite of how massive those clubs are in their home countries.

So, are we after all really set for a long time of English club domination in Europe and how would that reshape the game? Will we ever see a point where mid-table clubs in the Premier League can effortlessly outspend Milan or Juventus to land players ahead of them? Will there be a day where Brighton can outspend Barcelona? I wouldn't rule it out if this keeps up. The trend is stratospheric right now towards that the Premier League will be the 'domestic ESL' based on how the market gravitates towards it.

PSG, Bayern and Real Madrid will probably stand for quite a long time but besides that it looks bleak for continental Europe, really does.

Thoughts? :wave
« Last Edit: August 19, 2022, 05:30:37 pm by Linudden »
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Offline TipTopKop

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2022, 05:50:06 pm »
I said it before, the gap between a supporter and a club grows wider with every game.

The answer to everything seems to be spend, spend, spend. In this league more than others perhaps, there is an unrealistic expectancy even against mid or below level clubs that they have to splash to succeed.

Clearly not sustainable, but with Newcastle the latest (and potentially the biggest) spender coming on board, it doesn't show any signs of slowing down at the moment.

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2022, 06:42:18 pm »
The problem is for something like The Bundesliga, Bayern can compete with the European elite but nobody in Germany can compete with them. Juve have recently won 9 league titles in a row in Italy, although the Milan clubs are big enough that with a fair wind behind them can compete with them. Same in Spain with Real Madrid or France with PSG. Barcelona are an interesting one because they've been as badly run as Manchester United over the last 5 years but United have a bottomless pit of cash, members owned Barca don't. La Liga FFP also is taken seriously, unlike in England.

The Premier League is ultimately propped up by insane TV deals which are always liable to collapse one day.

Late 80s and 90s Serie A had it all.
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Offline Dave McCoy

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2022, 07:30:16 pm »
I said this when the ESL came out, it made no sense because the PL was already about to become the ESL. Any team in the PL is automatically at least one of the richest 40 teams in the world and that disparity is only going to get worse in the coming years as the PL income continues to grow. The PL this transfer window has spent more than every other league combined for instance.

It wouldn't surprise me if the PL tries to expand in the next 3-4 years.

Offline Linudden

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2022, 07:42:52 pm »
I don't think the PL will expand to foreign teams per se mainly because the lower half teams will veto it, but I do believe games outside of England based on the NFL going to Europe could be a thing soon. Mainly because of all the American owners. It would make a lot of sense for Kroenke to have Arsenal play one or two league games per year in his SoFi Stadium over in Los Angeles for example. I think FSG could quite feasibly put a Liverpool game per year in New York or Boston eventually, even though local fans on Merseyside will be livid.

What I can see happen as well is a 20-team PL2 breaking off from the Football League as the money grows, lured by parachute money being shared more evenly in that league. It's not impossible that Celtic and Rangers would be invited to a PL2, although a rule change would need to happen to make them eligible.
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Offline Linudden

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2022, 07:45:11 pm »
Late 80s and 90s Serie A had it all.

It's definitely true but you have to consider that Italy as a country was living well above its means at the time. At the moment, Italy and Spain are in severe economic difficulties. By some metrics, Estonia and Slovenia are about to surpass Italy for general population salaries in the next decade or so. Spain is supposedly already below that. While living standards are lower in England than in Germany, that's largely offset in football terms by all the foreign billionare investment and English being the global language.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2022, 08:51:58 pm by Linudden »
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Offline skipper757

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2022, 07:57:34 pm »
Yes, the PL definitely has the potential to be a Super League.  The money in the league dwarfs the others, and it's still compelling (unlike uncompetitive leagues).

UEFA's CL proposal (when the ESL first came about) was a way to placate PL teams.  They included "legacy spots" based on coefficients.  That's perfect for teams that don't always make CL but can go on EL runs.  Which types of teams can do this?  Rich underperforming PL teams (e.g. Arsenal).  This allows the PL to have 5-6 teams in the CL if needed.  It was a way to make sure that as money flowed into the PL, "traditional" teams won't constantly be left out.

I think UEFA may be scrapping this proposal, but it wouldn't shock me to see the PL push it themselves.  The ESL was ham-fisted, but the PL, assuming current trends, could absolutely start proposing new structures whereby either more PL teams get into the CL or the PL itself leads a new Champions League.  They can get smaller leagues onboard too (with some revenue sharing scheme or something) and pressure La Liga, Serie A, BuLi, etc.

The fact that the La Liga and Serie A clubs were clinging on to the ESL idea was a way to limit the PL's financial dominance and make sure they're not left behind.  There's certainly a future where the PL could try to dictate more and more of the terms if the money gap continues to grow.

Players in the PL wanting to leave for abroad opportunities will have to be prepared to run their contracts down.  If Arsenal signs a 24-year old and signs him to a 80K a week contract for 5 years, and he performs well in his first two years and Arsenal offers 160K extension at 5 years (until the player is 31), if the player wants to play for Real, Milan, Bayern, etc, he has to be prepared to turn it down or else the fee will be exorbitant if he did want to leave a year or two later.  Barca's attempts in expensive purchases and subsequent fall shows the pitfalls of trying to match PL teams in transfer fees.
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Offline Iska

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2022, 09:47:13 pm »
Yes, and itís already happened.  The TV money gap is completely unbridgeable now, and thereís no way for the continental leagues to close the gap.  Itís why Iíve changed my mind about the ESL and think itís inevitable now, this time without the English clubs - the European clubs and leagues will be a backwater otherwise.  I think that that must be the basis Barcelona are working on too.

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2022, 09:52:26 pm »
I said this when the ESL came out, it made no sense because the PL was already about to become the ESL. Any team in the PL is automatically at least one of the richest 40 teams in the world and that disparity is only going to get worse in the coming years as the PL income continues to grow. The PL this transfer window has spent more than every other league combined for instance.

It wouldn't surprise me if the PL tries to expand in the next 3-4 years.

That's also why the PL clubs were straight away willing to step back when they fucked up the announcement/planned it wrong (not just fan pressure and Gary Neville's soapbox).

And also why the Spanish and Italian clubs weren't. That's ultimately what's leading the likes of Perez to the ESL. Europe can't compete with the EPL.

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Offline MonsLibpool

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2022, 09:53:59 pm »
Midtable clubs can already outspend Juve and Milan. The former focuses more on free transfers these days.

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2022, 09:56:47 pm »
Yes, and itís already happened.  The TV money gap is completely unbridgeable now, and thereís no way for the continental leagues to close the gap.  Itís why Iíve changed my mind about the ESL and think itís inevitable now, this time without the English clubs - the European clubs and leagues will be a backwater otherwise.  I think that that must be the basis Barcelona are working on too.

Without Liverpool, Manchester United and the big London clubs that's a huge market missing though for your product. Same as if you had it without Real Madrid and Barcelona. They won't be able generate the sort of revenues from TV that they could otherwise to make it worthwhile.
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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2022, 09:59:49 pm »
It's definitely true but you have to consider that Italy as a country was living well above its means at the time. At the moment, Italy and Spain are in severe economic difficulties. By some metrics, Estonia and Slovenia are about to surpass Italy for general population salaries in the next decade or so. Spain is supposedly already below that. While living standards are lower in England than in Germany, that's largely offset in football terms by all the foreign billionare investment and English being the global language.

And the UK is rapidly becoming a failed state post-Brexit (adding in the effects of Tory governments and all the decades of Thatcherism and deregulation).

The country is a mess. For a league that is basically dependent on ever expanding TV deals, there's always a chance that dries up at some point.
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Offline Iska

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2022, 10:27:06 pm »
Without Liverpool, Manchester United and the big London clubs that's a huge market missing though for your product. Same as if you had it without Real Madrid and Barcelona. They won't be able generate the sort of revenues from TV that they could otherwise to make it worthwhile.
I donít think thatís quite right.  The European clubs donít need the best possible league, what they need is a league that can match the epl and stem the flow of money etc away from the European game.  A European League could generate revenues comparable to the epl.  In fact if it got its act together it could pretty comfortably outstrip it imo - Europe has much bigger clubs than England does, weíve just lost sight of that because the epl package is so slick.  We also lose sight of Europeís domestic market being much bigger, because there isnít a single domestic market at the moment (except for the CL) and we focus mostly on foreign tv revenues.  The eplís biggest advantage is that it already exists, and it would be difficult to get a European league to acquire that sort of legitimacy, but I donít think itís impossible.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2022, 10:30:06 pm by Iska »

Offline Linudden

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2022, 10:27:14 pm »
And the UK is rapidly becoming a failed state post-Brexit (adding in the effects of Tory governments and all the decades of Thatcherism and deregulation).

The country is a mess. For a league that is basically dependent on ever expanding TV deals, there's always a chance that dries up at some point.

Isn't the bulk of TV money flooding into the Premier League coming from overseas nowadays though? US, China, Japan, Middle East et cetera? There's only so much a domestic market of 65 million people can build. Germany as a larger country is completely dependent on domestic revenue since the league was poorly marketed abroad during the growth days of the 90s and 00s. That's why I think the Premier League revenues are more immune to Britain falling apart more than anything.
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Offline Dave McCoy

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2022, 12:07:24 am »
Isn't the bulk of TV money flooding into the Premier League coming from overseas nowadays though? US, China, Japan, Middle East et cetera? There's only so much a domestic market of 65 million people can build. Germany as a larger country is completely dependent on domestic revenue since the league was poorly marketed abroad during the growth days of the 90s and 00s. That's why I think the Premier League revenues are more immune to Britain falling apart more than anything.

It's just recently passed domestic revenue:

https://apnews.com/article/soccer-sports-business-premier-league-844353f33ef25768cb588fedfbfaff64

There was a chart on twitter as well that I can't find now that showed projected TV revenue for all 5 leagues and the PL just dwarfs them all by the mid-2020's as things stand.

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2022, 12:56:26 am »
It's just recently passed domestic revenue:

https://apnews.com/article/soccer-sports-business-premier-league-844353f33ef25768cb588fedfbfaff64

There was a chart on twitter as well that I can't find now that showed projected TV revenue for all 5 leagues and the PL just dwarfs them all by the mid-2020's as things stand.

I think the Premier League will focus a lot on United States growth, especially with more Saturday evening games with so many American owners. Just like the ghost season of 20-21 I think the 8 pm Saturday kickoffs will be more common going forward. Obviously the NCAA college football is huge, but there's still an untapped market for Saturday live sports in the middle of the day in North America. That will probably grow the revenue quite a bit. No other European leagues even have a chance at tapping into the US market for linguistic reasons. There's an exception with some areas of California, Florida and some border areas with Mexico where it's a bit of a neutral turf with La Liga due to the large Spanish-speaking populations, but even so, those areas will be leaning a lot towards the Premier League if the league expands further. People are much more attached to a league where their language is spoken - same as Latin America with La Liga.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2022, 01:02:28 am by Linudden »
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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2022, 04:52:49 am »
Yes, and itís already happened.  The TV money gap is completely unbridgeable now, and thereís no way for the continental leagues to close the gap.  Itís why Iíve changed my mind about the ESL and think itís inevitable now, this time without the English clubs - the European clubs and leagues will be a backwater otherwise.  I think that that must be the basis Barcelona are working on too.
Completely agree with this and I think it was rather obvious with how the super league clubs have acted (English vs non English)

That's also why the PL clubs were straight away willing to step back when they fucked up the announcement/planned it wrong (not just fan pressure and Gary Neville's soapbox).

And also why the Spanish and Italian clubs weren't. That's ultimately what's leading the likes of Perez to the ESL. Europe can't compete with the EPL.



Yep, exactly my line of thinking


Offline Americano12345

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2022, 04:56:52 am »
The Premier League is ultimately propped up by insane TV deals which are always liable to collapse one day.
I wonder if the PL is thinking the future is streaming and specifically with releasing their own package for purchase instead of selling rights?

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2022, 08:20:55 am »
Itís quite clear that the PL sees its future as being the home of state owned clubs. A couple more and the nation states will own the league and will have final say on what happens in it. How long before we are competing for the Aramco Premier League?

Offline Iska

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2022, 08:35:12 am »
The European clubs donít need the best possible league, what they need is a league that can match the epl and stem the flow of money etc away from the European game.  A European League could generate revenues comparable to the epl.  In fact if it got its act together it could pretty comfortably outstrip it imo - Europe has much bigger clubs than England does, weíve just lost sight of that because the epl package is so slick.  We also lose sight of Europeís domestic market being much bigger, because there isnít a single domestic market at the moment (except for the CL) and we focus mostly on foreign tv revenues.
To follow the logic of this through, if this hypothetical European league did get up-and-running, youíd be looking at competing products along these lines:

CLASSIC FIXTURES
Liverpool-Man Utd vs Real-Barcelona

NOT QUITE TOP TIER
Chelsea-Man City vs PSG-Inter

GENUINELY DIFFICULT GAME
West Ham-Tottenham vs Atletico-Bayern

BREAD-AND-BUTTER
Arsenal-Villa vs Juventus-Benfica

FILLER
Leeds-Bournemouth vs Lyon-Roma

Right now as-a-package the eplís brand is probably holding its own - but that (imo) is absolutely remarkable when you look at the games involved.  The great illusion, and tribute to Sky and Richard Scudamore, is convincing the world that the bottom two or three tiers there are worth watching - that us hosting Leicester, or Palace-Brighton, are significant events at all.  Itís daft but it works because theyíve been successful in selling the whole package as the only game in town.

Serie A is the only existing league which could conceivably compete as a package but I donít think thatís realistic because the epl has first-mover advantage in the overseas markets and I donít see any motivation for those markets to shift focus away from it.

A European league would be a different story though, because if it did get up-and-running there would be no doubt that the Milan derby is a bigger deal than the north London one, or that Ajax and Marseille matter more than Everton and Fulham.  So the pull of gravity would always have to be towards the European league, how could it not?

PS Iíve been assuming, as does everyone else, that overseas rights are always going to be a big thing.  But thatís probably worth interrogating.  Is it really the case that Asia is going to stay in love with the English game, or that the US wouldnít prefer to boost its own league at some point?

Offline Linudden

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2022, 01:05:53 pm »
The southern clubs have this issue that the German teams are owned by the fans who will never accept the breakup of Bundesliga. On top of that Qatar are knee-deep in with UEFA and FIFA and therefore won't leave the French league. On top of that, Real Madrid would veto an accession of PSG into such a breakaway due to their fury over the illegal manner the Mbappť contract extension was conducted. That means it would basically be a merged league between Italy, Spain and Portugal with some French clubs and I really don't think that a Mediterranean League is lucrative enough to take the fight to the Premier League.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2022, 01:07:28 pm by Linudden »
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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2022, 01:26:37 pm »
I blame the geg ins, it's not really their fault but the money will always gravitate to whatever is popular

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2022, 02:02:35 pm »
Sad state of affairs it is.

Football is rapidly turning into a transfer market spooge fest. Focus is all now on club ownership and who has the biggest wallet. FA and FIFA corruption is swept right under the rug (money talks) leaving it all go to rack and ruin, much like Britain in general.
- all in my opinion of course -

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Re: Is the Premier League turning into the NFL/ESL of European football?
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2022, 05:12:51 pm »
Feel like the newer generation of fans are conditioned for the media driven, transfer fetishising version of the game.

Everything is geared towards the wider picture - the social media engagement, the talking points, the podcasts, the ďfan mediaĒ. Seems like Sky hand out a list of ďtalking pointsĒ before each game that Tyler, Neville, Carragher et al have to bring up as much as possible to fuel that discussion. Donít get me started on the faux ďargumentsĒ between Keane, Neville, Souness and Carragher.

Younger fans are also all about the transfers - you canít be competitive if youíre not signing people. Youíre a ďdead clubĒ if youíre not splashing cash like itís footy manager. LFC have put posts on twitter before about genuinely emotive subjects (Hillsborough, this years final, Heysel etc) and the comments are littered with children begging for transfers. Itís vile.

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