Soccer Pass to Europe... England Part 2


If you read my previous post on the history of football in England, this is continuation of the blog focusing on the domestic league. On the club level, England has always been a powerhouse in Europe and will inevitably continue to be at any foreseeable length in the future because money does not only talk in football; it writes the history of football in the 21st century.  Due to purchasing power, there have been three tiers of teams season after season in the English Premier League in recent years. They are the top four, the Europa league contenders and the relegation zone teams.

 Top four's not easy. It often means losing not more than 5 games out of 38 games in a season (*. This is extremely difficult especially when you take into consideration the many hazards to the game like nervous referees, fireworks-throwing fans, and of course streakers. It, therefore, requires a well-formulated winning algorithm that includes all variables from the training ball boy, through the academy teams to the daily meals of the starting XI.

 The usual top four teams in the recent 10 seasons have been Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea FC, and Arsenal/Liverpool FC with Tottenham and Everton giving us mini heart attacks recently. Manchester City and Chelsea FC are the cash cows of the EPL. It is safe to say that Manchester City is a new tenant in the top four and they are inarguably here to stay. Why? Oh nothing, it's just that they've spent $1.4 billion on players and club-centered activities in just 4 years. They even managed to initiate an exodus of players in which star players from Arsenal FC (top four team), seek greener pastures at their home. Liverpool FC has lost ground during the recent years but they still remain Premier League's most decorated team with 41 major trophies. Manchester United follows with 39. On a side note, there is a tense rivalry between both teams, and it dates back to a century even for reasons other than football.

It is logical to move from the first tier teams and talk about the second tier teams. But when humans meet sports, we only care much about the most decorated or the most humiliated. So let's go ahead and wish the Europa league contenders good luck and let's move on to the third tier teams who do an excellent job in keeping men from watching telenovelas.  Wigan FC, Hull City, Blackburn Rovers, Derby County, Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United are some of the famous names when it comes to living on the edge in the EPL. Unlike the top performers, the bottom teams are not consistent in their different goal of remaining in the EPL. It's not all woeful news about the relegation trail blazers though. They often produce mesmerizing talents and sell them to the top performing teams in the EPL at ridiculously high prices. In brighter situations, upsetting relegation zone teams become and remain as Europa league contenders.

P. S I did not mention "stellar" players in the EPL because the intensity and excitement of the league often overshadow individual performance contrary to the case in other major European leagues. If your interest has skyrocketed or you are just a curious cat then here is a link for exciting players to look out for in the 2012-2013 EPL season.

 *For the link, scroll through final table values for each year over the past 10 years.

I'm not a MU FC fan it's just that this pic is sensational.



Andy, your knowledge of the EPL is obvious in this blog. Your outline of the league's tiers was really easy to follow and organize in my mind. You also managed to stay pretty unbiased throughout the post, which is surprising to me given the passion of EPL fans. It's particularly interesting to me that the success of football clubs in Europe is heavily reliant on purchasing power. This system has become a standard in the football world, but I've always appreciated the balance that a salary cap brings to American sports leagues. I'm additionally curious as to why there aren't trades in the EPL but players are being loaned by teams throughout Europe to each other. Anyways I'm sure the EPL is as foreign as science is to many of our classmates, so this is definitely an informative post. Well done!

Thanks Shawn. I'm an die hard Liverpool fan and yes, it stung a little to post Rooney's epic overhead kick on my blog. I believe in the salary cap in the American sports leagues and I sincerely think it would do UEFA much good in terms of profitability and popularity if it adopted the system. Trading players will also be a suitable solution to the unfair spending among clubs. it's just that football fans are, I dare say, the most staunch-hearted fans in the world. They either support a club till death or hold unto the most popular player as the image of the team. Even in the league of my home country, Ghana, I can imagine how fans will be infuriated if their star player is traded for another star player. Some may even change allegiance because of that single player.

Oh yeah, there has been one rare and very popular trade of players in the recent years. It involved Samuel Eto'o swapping places with Ibrahimovic in 2009. Eto'o moved to England to join Mourinho and Ibrahimovic to Barcelona. This is the only trade move I've heard of but like you said, loan moves are very prevalent and sometimes they result in permanent moves.

Lol, lapse of memory Eto'o moved to Inter in 2009. I guess I'm very excited about his move to Chelsea :)

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