This Premiership season has been one of the most competitive and unpredictable seasons of recent years. At the top of the table, there are three points separating United, Arsenal and Chelsea whilst the battle for Champions League qualification looks set to go to the wire. The gap between the elite teams and also ran’s appears to be closing by the week.
When Manchester City were taken over by Abu Dhabi’s, Sheikh Mansour back in September 2008 there was criticism from all corners that City were just another team trying to buy the title. True perhaps, but in today’s modern football which is now solely down to finance surely another team competing at the top can only be a good thing? This season Manchester City sit 5th which as it stands would be their best finish in the Premier League to date. A club with great history, tradition, and adoring fan base is being made great again and with it gives the Premiership a renewed competitive edge.
Come down to Spain however and there is a very different story. It is unlikely that the reign of the top two teams will come to an end in coming years. This season looks set to be the 22nd time that one of Real or Barcelona has won Spain’s top division in the past 26 years, and with 60% of all television revenue going to the two it is unlikely that either club will have any financial rivals next year either. For all the talent that potential challengers Valencia, Sevilla, etc do possess it is hard for even the most optimistic fans to see them keeping up with the dominant forces over the course of 38 La Liga games.
For a big money owner to come into one of these clubs and provide extra impetus and additional funds would be beneficial to the whole of La Liga. In modern day football, gone are the days where clubs like Athletic Bilbao could win with their wholly admirable ‘Cantera Policy’, instead the economic power and expenditure of the clubs reign supreme. Some may not like it but this is what football has become. Instead of fighting it, we must embrace it and could you think of anything better than three, even four teams fighting it out at the top come the end of April?
Whilst in this economic recession the demand for football clubs may have diminished somewhat, so admittedly this may take time. But for those that are bored with the almost dictatorship grip that Real Madrid and Barcelona have on La Liga, but still love the flair of Spanish Football, there may just be a solution.
Drop down a league in Spain, and you will stumble across the Segunda Division, a league which is almost ignored in countries outside Spain. This season, at the time of writing, there are seven teams all within ten points of top spot all of them dreaming of competing with the big boys in La Liga. Now there’s entertainment.
Written by Richard Thorburn