How has money in EPL changed the game totally?

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Answered by: DEBDORSHI, An Expert in the Football - General Category
Long ago football was considered the game for the working class, but since then times have changed. The introduction of English Premier League has turned football into a business. Manchester City and Chelsea are the two best examples of how money changed the English Premier League since the last decade. In 2004, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea and since then they have went on to win almost everything you can win in football.



To be fair to Chelsea, they were still quite decent before the Russian takeover, but since then they have reached a whole new level. They went on to win the Premier League many times and as well as the Champions League, the trophy which Abramovich so desperately wanted to win. Manchester City on the other hand was just a mid table club few years back, but it all changed when Arab billionaire Sheikh Mansour decided to buy the club.

As a result of so much money in EPL, transfer fees have also risen in the English Premiere League dramatically. In order to transform Manchester City, Sheikh Mansour didn't waste much time. They splashed huge sums of money to buy world class players like David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure. They offered them huge wages so it was quite easy to convince them. Their investment was finally rewarded when they went on to win their first Premier League, courtesy of a dramatic late goal by Sergio Aguero.



Chelsea too spent huge money to buy players like Fernando Torres, Eden Hazard and Oscar to turn their fortunes. Torres in particular cost them $50 million; he failed to perform but most of their other transfers were successful. Previously, you could buy world class players like for under $10 million. But now even mediocre players can cost as much as $25 million. Liverpool has perfectly demonstrated how to overplay for players. The fact that they bought Andy Carroll, a young English player for a staggering $35 million is enough to tell you about the influence of money in EPL. But he is not the only one. They have also spent huge sums of money on players like Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson. But still they failed to achieve what they wanted.

We have also seen some players sold from the Premier League for huge amounts; Ronaldo to Madrid and Suarez to Barcelona are the best examples. Since the retirement of Sir Alex, Manchester United has also spent around $200 million to bring back the glory days but has failed so far. But expensive signings are not only restricted to the big clubs. As a result of so much money, we have also seen mid table sides like Stoke and West Ham also buying great players like Shaqiri and Payet.

However, in spite of spending so much money, their performance in the European competitions has not been up to the mark. Since 2010 or 2011, English teams regularly featured in the semi finals or finals of the Champions League. But from 2012, their performances has declined. Chelsea was the last English club to win the prestigious competition. Manchester United and Liverpool are the other two clubs to win it since 2004. Arsenal has been a constant failure in this competition and Manchester City in spite of doing so well in the league has been very disappointing in Europe so far. In fact, because of the recent failures of the English Clubs, they can lose the 4th Champions League spot to Italy.

Since all the English Clubs can afford to buy expensive foreign stars, local English players have suffered. We have seen talented players like Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Wilfred Zaha who failed to live up to their expensive price tags and as a result their careers have gone downhill. Young English players graduating from the academy also find it difficult to break into the first team, because the starting eleven of most of the teams is already full of big names. As a result, talented players are forced to join lower league teams to start their career. That is why the English National team has also suffered so much. They have good players but are nowhere near the level of Spain or Germany.

Since their famous World Cup win in the 1960's, they are yet to win anything major. Unless there is a complete revamp of the grassroots program, the National Team is unlikely to improve much.

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