RedrebelWithout any doubt, today the Barclays Premier League is the best league in the world. But, the question is why? Why are English teams dominating the highest competition of club football? Why are traditional leagues like the Spanish League and Italian Serie A being overshadowed? The answer is simple, "level of competition". Over the years, theres been a Spanish champions league final and an italain champions league final and an english final. This phenomenon occurs because in their respective leagues the fight for the title becomes intense between the clubs and raises the level of competition. When the level of competition rises, the quality of a team rises too, or else it goes down. When this teams play other teams from other countries, their opponents might not have been playing with a competition as intense as theirs and they easily get defeated. An example is last years champions league, Chelsea and Man U fought for the title till the last game and the other teams behind them fought to be the closest as possible to the leaders. This kind of intensity is what raises competition. Than, if you look at other teams like Lyon and Porto you can clearly see that they don't play with an intensity as the English because they dominate their respective leagues and don't have much competition from other clubs. Lack of competition is what makes leagues weak. Leagues gain and lose intensity over the years. The Premier sooner or later is going to lose intensity. I predict that in the future the Italian Serie A will gain more intensity because Juventus is back. The Serie A lost some competition when Juventus got relegated and everybody saw that. What do you think about this?
nvrThe level of competition is one of the factors. IMHO the most important factor is the money available to the teams in the league. English clubs are actually companies, which can be bought and sold by inidividuals or other companies. Spanish and Italian ones are clubs owned by the members.
So Abramovich decides that he needs some publicity. He looks at the FCs available and sees that it is only British clubs that can be bought. He pours money into Chelsea and buys top quality players, and transforms an underdog to a title chasing club. Same goes for Gilette and Hicks, Abu Dhabi United, Mittal and Briatore, etc, etc...
Meanwhile Real Madrid chases dodgy deals with the goverment to clear off debt. Less fortunate Spanish clubs do not have that publicity power and they downsize, selling their players to English clubs.
FeriAtsNvr's point about the money is spot on. It's about the money league gets. Mind you, it's not only about what top teams get. It's more important what the underdogs get. If the underdogs are strong the competition within the league increases, hence fitness of the top teams.
I am watching Eredivisie more carefully in the recent years. They did some changes to relegation and Europe qualification with a hope of increasing the competition without too much money. If it works it can be a model for less successful leagues.
RedrebelThe level of competition is the factor. The money is what leads to the competition, but just by investing money you don't always bring that much of a difference in a league and it takes time. An example is the Major League Soccer in the United States, they have invested tons of money on making new stadiums, buying players, and publicity. The question is, has it really brought that much competition to the league to make it world class?? The answer is no, it's helping the league grow and become competitive. Now, look at the Argentine League. Economically, its not world class, but competition wise, its one of the best and its ranked by fifa as one of the top 5 best leagues in the world. Look at their league and players, they make their own players and some of their stadiums are horrible. So, yes money helps, but its competition what brings prestige.
nvrComparing Yanks and Argentina is a bit unfair. Yanks do not have a football culture what so ever. A better comparison would be maybe between Brazil and Argentina, as far as I can tell they are more or less at the same level. Suppose Argentinian league gets a cash injection for consecutive 10 years, while Brazil stays as is. What would be the difference?
There are also leagues with high level of competition but no hope of being interesting. Allsvenskan had 7 different champions in the last 10 years, their national team is doing alright. Yet an average football fan cannot name 3 Swedish clubs without Googling it.
RedrebelHas there been any Swedish team in the Champions League knockout rounds since when?
nvrNone for a long time. And that further proves my point. Swedes produce decent players, even top footballers like Ibrahimovic, Larsson, Dahlin etc. They have a competitive league, yet they fail to be successful in Europe. Why? Due to lack of money, they can't keep their players, let alone buying good players from outside of Allsvenkskan.
Maybe it's better to talk with numbers. Here's the link of Deloitte's Football Money League research paper.
In top 20, you'll see 8 English, 4 Italian and only 2 Spanish teams. I think these numbers nail it.
RedrebelThan, how come Brazil and Argentina produce so much players sell them and still keep their league competitive???
nvrI am no expert of South American affairs, but aren't these the two biggest economies in the region?
RedrebelI think so.