European Soccer's Parity Problem: EPL, Bundesliga, Serie a and La Liga
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Europe is preparing itself for another entertaining season of football, but the harsh reality is that only a handful of big European Clubs will—once again—win all the titles.
Within the past 21 years of the English Premier League, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have won every title except three. Manchester United has a whopping 12, while Chelsea and Arsenal both have three. Besides this powerful trio, Blackburn (during the 94/95 season), Leeds (91/92) and now Manchester City (last year) were the only other EPL teams managing to win a championship.
In Spain’s La Liga, the numbers aren’t much better. Barcelona and Real Madrid have combined to win 17 of the last 21 titles (Barca—10; Real Madrid—7), and only Atletico Madrid (95/96), Deportivo La Coruna (99/00) and Valencia (01/02; 03/04) overcome Spain’s dominating duo.
Of the top four European football leagues, Germany’s Bundesliga has the most parity, but Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have still won all but six titles in the last two decades.
Combined, these top ten European clubs make up only 12 percent of the competing teams yet have won 68 of the 84 possible titles—a dominating 81 percent of the time.
Huge payrolls are the main reason these teams consistently win, and Manchester City’s recent championship suggests that the only way to overthrow traditional powerhouses is by, well, having even MORE money than your richest competitors. Maybe the odds will change and the leagues will experience more parity this season, but the last few decades show that this is a consistent trend that is unlikely to be broken.
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