Aside from the results being achieving internationally – which, in all truth, don’t amount to much –Premier League is increasingly proving itself to be the championship to follow, capable of re-establishing and revitalising European football.
At the moment, the Premier League may be regarded as the pinnacle of world football, even if international results do not do justice to that status.
If we look just into the victories, we would have no choice but to give the prize to the Spanish La Liga, the championship involving the two teams with the highest visibility in Europe (Barcelona and Real Madrid). And if we look from the viewpoint of stadia attendance, we would instead reward Bundesliga, the championship with the highest average attendances in Europe, both for first and second divisions.
Having said that, what is so special about the Premier League? Why is the value of this championship steadily rising? To answer these questions, we wanted to see close up the mechanisms on which the success of the English championship is based, comparing them with the only two leagues which currently seem to have understood the importance of fast football growth, both in terms of economics and protection of fans.
These comparisons highlighted a quite worrying situation for the Italian championship which seems to be the only one to miss a clear idea of the direction football must take, while we’ve been able to observe, albeit at a totally individual and subjective level, that the Spanish La Liga and Bundesliga are trying to use their resources to secure ground into the increasingly high levels of Premier League.
Thus, on the one hand, we have Bundesliga deriving its success from solid governance and, on the other hand, we have La Liga which is trying – starting this year – to reduce the gap between the top teams and other championship participants, to increase competitiveness and, consequently, its follower base. Finally, we have the Premier League, an extremely competitive championship, with solid foundations, strong commercial value and enviable international reach.
On the other hand, perhaps this competitiveness, together with the fact that the English championship is the only one among the main ones in Europe to start at the beginning of August and to go right through December without any Christmas break, and also the fact that here there are two national cup competitions – League Cup and FA Cup – certainly makes the Premier League one of the most exciting and enthralling championships, but at the same time it ensures that it is in international competitions – both at club and national level – that England pays the price for its success.
Nonetheless, we can consider these failures as a direct consequence of the consolidation taking place in the English league, the first to adopt a new mechanism to consistently stay at the top and which, over the long term, will probably prove its worth, leaving Spain, Germany, Italy and France in its wake.