It’s a well-known fact that the Premier League is the toughest and most competitive league competition in the world of football. This year, in particular, has been dominated by English clubs, posing the following questions – how has the Premier League taken over all European competitions once again and why are the top English football clubs so dominant when compared to other elite European clubs.
Strong Football Tradition
Regarded as the home of football, England is deeply tied with the sport for nearly a century and a half. A lot of people in England and the entire UK have a deep and passionate obsession with football. With over 40,000 registered association football clubs, England has more clubs than any other country in the world. The country is also home to the world’s first football club, the oldest national governing body, the first national team and the oldest national league and knockout competition.
On top of a deep-rooted history, football excellently pairs up with another massively popular English hobby – betting. The sports betting and the casino industry are widely established in England and only add on to the passion with which the fans follow the game. Today, online sports betting offers in the UK are better and more comprehensive than anywhere in the world, and the country has a huge base of sports bettors and casino players.
The Reasons Behind The Domination of English Clubs In Europe
English football clubs have managed to come out on the forefront of European football with Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal reaching the finals of the two top European football competition. An impressive feat on its own, this is an even more imposing accomplishment when you consider that the current Premier League Champion and one of the best clubs in the world, Manchester City, didn’t manage to reach the final stages of the Champions League. So, how did Premier League clubs succeed in taking over European football again?
Intense Competition from Top to Bottom
The Premier League is the most lucrative football league in the world, as 6 out of 10 most valuable teams on Forbes list last year came from England. Premier League clubs are also the biggest spenders on the market, with 8 out of 20 biggest spenders coming from England. In addition to this, middle to lower ranked Premier League teams often have much larger transfer budgets than similarly ranked clubs from other leagues. This helps make the Premier League much more competitive than other European leagues.
There are no easy games in the Premier League, and even the lower ranked teams can pull off big upsets. This healthy level of competition is perfectly exemplified with Leicester’s fantastic 2015/2016 Premier League campaign when they managed to win the title in just two seasons after securing promotion from the English Football League Championship.
Top Players and Managers
Premier League has always been considered as one of the most talent-filled competitions in the world. What’s interesting about this league is that unlike other competitions, like the La Liga, Bundesliga or Ligue 1, the influx of talent isn’t limited only to the top two or three teams. Looking at the roster of the top six teams of the 2018/2019 season, it’s safe to say that any of these clubs would have a realistic chance of winning in any other European League.
The league has also always had an excellent pool of managers, but this year the gap between the quality of Premier League managers and managers from other leagues is wider than it ever was. With world class tacticians like Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochetino and Unai Emery, the Premier League is filled with managerial stars. This is to no surprise, as most world-class managers over the years have signed with English clubs after achieving success in other European leagues.
Poor Performances of top European Sides
No matter how well English clubs performed in Europe this year, we would be remised if we didn’t mention the relatively poor performances top European clubs had this year. Aside from Ajax, who had a miraculous season this year, top European clubs haven’t played well in the Champions League and Europa League in the 2018/2019 season. Barcelona wasted an already won the semifinal against Liverpool, while Real Madrid had one of the worst seasons in recent memory.
World-class clubs like Inter Milan and AC Milan are no longer the contenders they were in the past and Juventus has underperformed this season, despite bringing in Cristiano Ronaldo. All of these teams, alongside Bayern Munchen, Borussia Dortmund, PSG and other big European clubs will have to do a lot better in order to stay competitive with the top English clubs.
Comparisons with the Italian Dominance
Of course, this year’s season isn’t the only one that saw dominance from clubs coming out of one country. Back in the 90s, clubs from the Italian Serie A held an equally dominant level of competition as the Premier League has today. The ‘le sette sorrele’(seven sisters) consisting out of Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Parma, Lazio, AS Roma and Fiorentina dominated European football between 1989 and 1998. During these ten seasons, only the 1991 Champions League final didn’t feature a club from Italy. This period also saw four All-Italian UEFA Cup finals.
The All-England Finals
While this year’s finals lacked the variety compared to past seasons, we can confidently say that both finals were very solid and interesting to watch. The Europa League final was especially exciting this year, as we saw a total of five goals and plenty of chances in Chelsea’s 4-1 win over Arsenal.
The Champions League final saw less action that the Europa League one, with Liverpool coming out on top and clinching their 6th Champions League title in a 2-0 win against Tottenham. This was the first time in the history of international European football competitions that any one nation provided all four finalists in both finals.