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Forget FFP, It’s All About TV

13 Feb | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Forget FFP, It’s All About TV

Will the new TV deal help the Premier League bridge the gap in quality with Europe’s elite?

This week the news emerged that Sky and BT Sport have jointly paid a record £5.136bn for live Premier League TV rights for 2016-17.

That is approximately £10.8m on average for each of the 126 Premier League games Sky will broadcast each season until 2018-19, and £7.6m for each of the 42 matches BT will show. A staggering amount.

While the debate circulates around what this means for fans, ticket prices, TV subscriptions, Financial Fair Play and the grassroots game; the real question is, how does this deal affect the quality of Premier League football?

In the last decade the Premier League brand has been growing to the point that it now watched by millions of people worldwide, becoming one of the most marketable in the world, with only the NFL generating more income.

The most competitive top flight league in all of football, at one point it boasted arguably the greatest teams in the world.

In the eight Champions League finals between 2004 and 2012, seven of them contained an English team.

While in 2008, it was an all-English final between Manchester United and Chelsea in Moscow. But since the last English team, Chelsea in 2012, won Europe’s most prestigious club competition, there has been a decline.

In that season, the Blues were the only Premier League side to make it through to the quarter-finals. A year later (2012/13) no English team reached the quarters. Last year, Jose Mourinho and David Moyes managed semi and quarter-final appearances respectively, but both were outclassed by better opposition.

There is no doubt about it, English football may be becoming more competitive domestically, but compared to the rest of Europe, the English club game is simply not dominating anymore.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have become stronger in attempt to catch-up, while the Premier League’s elite have fallen behind.

But could this brand new deal spark a change?

Realistically, it all comes down to one fact. More money for clubs means the ability to attract more of the best talent to our shores.

Man United, for instance, flexed their financial muscle last summer after a horrendous season where they missed out on qualification for the Champions League. They proceeded to spend over £150 million on players, including snapping up Angel Di Maria for a record £59.7m.

Why? So they can get back in it and start competing with the best in the world.

The new deal will allow for off seasons without long term decline, as well as making the bigger domestic clubs more of an ever-present fixture on the most important European nights.

This power housing acquisition of talent will not just apply to the league’s top clubs. Even those whose main aim is to stay in the league will be able to attract better players.

All 20 Premier League clubs currently occupy a place in the top 40 Richest Clubs in the World. To put that into context, Burnley are richer than Ajax. So expect even bigger transfer fees and pay packets spread throughout the league with the new deal.

Significantly, the Premier League now gone from lagging behind to having an upper hand on their European rivals.

It’s already one of the most desirable leagues to play in, and we could see an influx of players move from La Liga or the Bundesliga to England. At the moment, given a choice of rainy Manchester or sunny Madrid, I know which I’d choose.

However, in a season’s time when the same clubs come knocking and one has added a couple more zeros to that pay check, far be it from me to question a footballer’s morals and values, but the outcome would probably be quite different.

Overall, this new deal will mean attracting the best players to the Premier League. Ultimately this means better teams and better football.

As that standard rises, so will each club’s ability to compete on the European stage. If all goes to plan, it will also mean return to a position of consistent participation and dominance that it enjoyed not so long ago.