We’re in the 21st century, a time where the world has evolved in industry, technology, and more importantly football…
Football, the game, has come a long way. From big muddy grounds to lush green outfields, from black and white broadcast to high-definition, high-quality displays, such changes have influenced Europe’s top leagues- and particularly, the Premier League.
It is a known fact that the ‘beautiful game’ was invented by England and it would be only right to know why the Premier League is ever so popular. During the early 1990s, there were only 11 non-English or Irish players in the league; hardly enough to even form a team of players from abroad. Fast forward to today and there are now enough players from abroad to form 22 teams!
Throwing more light on the above-mentioned point, if all the English players were to suddenly hang up their boots, the EPL would still go on.
5 Premier League teams in top 10 of jersey sponsorships, that too, with just two European victories in the last 10 years
According to recent stats by European governing bodies, the 20 clubs of the PL earned a staggering €3.7b. This topples the combined income of 597 top-flight clubs across Europe, outside Germany, Spain, Italy, France, and Russia.
The EPL is the most lucrative league in the world, with annual revenues reaching as high as £1.8b. This figure is the third highest amongst any sports league in the world. Only the NFL and the MLB can boast higher revenues.
The rise of the Premier League is a combined effort of good business conducted by English clubs through transfers and spectacular sponsorship deals. Arsenal’s total matchday revenue for the 2016-17 season was €1.72m, more than Real Madrid, majorly due to massive sponsorship deals with PUMA, because of which the club’s commercial revenue rose by an impressive 34%.
Quality broadcast across 212 different nations with 600m viewers has generated significant revenue for PL clubs as well. 50% of the UK broadcast revenue is split equally between the 20 clubs. 25% of the UK broadcast revenue is paid in Merit Payments (prize money per place in the table). 25% of UK broadcast revenue is paid in Facility Fees each time a club’s matches are broadcast in the UK. All international broadcast revenue and central commercial revenue is split equally among the 20 clubs.
The income from the overseas broadcasting rights is distributed collectively to the 20 PL clubs. Meanwhile, in other European leagues (except Bundesliga), income is distributed to individual clubs on the basis of maximum coverage.
The reasons why the PL is preferred and viewed the most by the world, more than any other European top flight is due to the quality of the players along with the variety in depth of the squads; the never ending rivalries – be it the Manchester, the North London or the Merseyside Derby and the pressure and excitement that comes along with it. The well-facilitated stadiums with lush green grounds with huge capacities, the local fan base which contributes to the atmosphere/hype/tension and makes matchday an immense affair for the masses. Clubs like West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur have also moved on to better stadiums with bigger capacities recently.
Premier League overshadows every other football league with Bundesliga close to half the figure in terms of revenue
The induction of marquee players like Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (who’s gone now), Mesut Ozil, Diego Costa and Xherdan Shaqiri contributes to an increase in popularity and club revenue through shirt sales, commercials, as well as social media followers.
Another significant stat that we stumbled upon is that a total of 103 players out of the overall 552 who participated at Euro 2016 were EPL players. It goes to show that the PL is not a one trick pony which just relies on media and sponsorship deals for its funds, but the league also brings forward top notch players who represent their respective nations on the biggest stages.
What adds to the excitement of the PL is that at least six teams are in contention for the title before the long season starts, whereas in La Liga, the Bundesliga and Serie A, it is usually a two-horse race. In Germany, Bayern Munich have their names etched on the league title every year.
Going into the details, the PL does not have the highest goals to games ratio in Europe, as compared to the Eredivisie of the Netherlands which often manage three goals per game. Most of the world agrees that conceding goals cheaply makes the game boring. This is where the PL clubs have excelled with well-disciplined and structured defences, as the ever-so-thriving attackers have to strive to score goals. The nerve-wrecking pressure that the average PL player and fans go through in this rollercoaster of a ride is unmatched.
To conclude, players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer may have bossed the field with their individual skills and power over the last decade or so, but, the glory and prestige that the players look for in football (as well as the massive wages) only comes when you’re playing in the EPL in front of hundreds and thousands of determined fans singing your name, while you soak up the pressure, perform well and look good on television since you’re being broadcasted across 200 nations, worldwide, thereby possibly having the best platform to become the next Alan Shearer or Eric Cantona.