The Premier League is the best league in the world.
Many in the game have uttered the phrase, and the amount of success the English Premier League has enjoyed over the past five years is immeasurable. Easily outdistancing all other European leagues, whilst many English clubs boast strong attendance figures.
Making The Case
Don't trust me, the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFHHS) has branded the Premier League as the "best league in the world” for two consecutive seasons, by virtue of English clubs’ performances in both the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Champions League. The Premier League defeated second place Serie A by 161 points.
Further, in each of the past two seasons at least three English sides have qualified for the semifinals of the Champions League. The results have not been as strong in the UEFA Cup, but looking at the structure of the two major European competitions may explain this.
Structurally, the team finishing in third place of each group in the first round drops into the UEFA Cup. The EPL’s strongest teams have consistently qualified for the latter stages of the competition, whilst the remaining UEFA Cup spots have been occupied by strong teams from other leagues, and have been successful since parachuting into the UEFA Cup.
Crunching The Numbers
The League is at its highest point in 16 years under its current form. Financially, its collective revenue is worth 40% more than its nearest competitor, Serie A. Deloitte Football Money league's latest rankings places seven English sides in the top 20 richest clubs of 2007-08.
The English clubs featured (in order) are: Manchester United (2), Chelsea (5), Arsenal (6), Liverpool (7), Tottenham Hotspur (14), Newcastle (17), and Manchester City (20). Additionally, the Premier League has the fourth highest league revenue of any sports league worldwide, only behind NFL, MLB, and NBA in the United States. The Premier League is richer than the NHL.
The Most Competitive League
Not only is the EPL the richest soccer league in the world, but it is also the most competitive. Many will argue that the dominance of the "top four" is damaging to the Premier League, but critics overlook achievements of Newcastle United and Everton, having claimed places in the Champions league, as recently as the 2003-04 campaign in the case of the Tofeemen.
Many will point to a concentration of wealth, in the hands of the Big Four, prevents "lesser" clubs from reaching the heights of a team like Manchester United. However, Tottenham Hotspur, have squandered large sums of money, as well as selling key players Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane (later resigned). Spurs had to wait until Halloween for their first win last season.
The Lilywhites have spent £15 million on David Bentley, who spent much of last season on the bench, and £14 million on Roman Pavlyuchenko whose mere five league goals has seen the Russian linked with the exit door at White Hart Lane. Perhaps Spurs fans are more mindful than most than money doesn't buy success, having missed out on a place in Europe next term.
Money Can't Buy You Love
Manchester City are the richest club in the world (thanks to their new Arab owners), and yet they, like Tottenham, have failed to qualify for next season's Europa League. As if to solidify the point, Stoke City, a side promoted last term ,finished 12th and a mere five points and two places behind Manchester City.
The Potters enjoyed victories over such cash-rich sides as Arsenal, Aston Villa, Tottenham, and Manchester City. They also drew twice with Liverpool, a feat that not even the mighty Manchester United could accomplish.
Simple spending does not guarantee success.
Though Manchester United and Chelsea, winners of the Premier League title for the last five years, are undeniably wealthy, the fact that the 17th richest club in the world, Newcastle United, were relegated while newly promoted sides Hull City and Stoke City managed to retain their status in the Promised Land, is living proof that money alone does not always lead to success.
The Premier League dominates all others financially and competitively. Within the league itself competition is more fierce than others, as any team with the mixture of proper management and nurtured talent can achieve their goals.
Furthermore, on any give Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or even Wednesday, any team can feasibly beat any other, regardless of world stature. With all those factors working in unison, demonstrates the league is truly experiencing a golden age.
The English Premier League is the best in the world.