There’s still a lot of top flight football to be played this season. Leicester have wrapped up the league already – and all credit to them – but European and relegation spots are still up for grabs. Then, of course, there’s the small matter of the European Championships to consider.
Come the summer, though; there’s going to be a serious change in Premier League football. The huge deal for TV rights will see the biggest injection of cash ever seen in football, and Premier League clubs are going to be quids in.
With this in mind, we thought we would take a quick look at how this influx of mega money will affect next season’s competition.
The widening gap
It’s never been a better year for teams in the Championship to win promotion. Burnley: there already. Middlesbrough and Brighton: fighting to join them, with the loser facing the intense experience of the playoffs. Promotion to the Premier League has always been the biggest financial prize in football – and it’s even bigger now. But what about those that remain? Only around 5% of the rights money trickles down to the Football League and below, which covers the entirety of grassroots football. To put it into context, Sky is spending £10.2 million on every game they screen. That would be enough to ensure the survival of an entire league of lower division clubs.
The influx of foreign players has been both good and bad for the Premier League. There have been some fantastic success stories – and some miserable failures. But, English football still hasn’t managed to tempt the genuine greats of world football. You could argue that Ronaldo and Suarez have played here – but this is where they made their names. Would they come back now they are amongst the best in the world? It was doubtful before, but the money is certainly there to make it happen now.
The new money means managers can be expecting lots of knocks on their doors about contract negotiations this summer. And, of course, it’s the players who will clean up. It’s not just their club wages, either. The Premier League profile will rise in stock once again, and we will see a lot more footballers in advertising and promotions. We’re used to seeing footballers in advertisements – for further info click here. Expect to see more from next season, as marketers scramble over each other to get the biggest names involved with male grooming products.
There is little hope that fans at the grounds will see some of the benefits of the new influx of money. Away tickets have been set at a maximum of £30 a ticket next season – which is about as good as it can get. The big question is, will clubs be generous to financially stretched supporters? Given that ticket prices go up at a rate much larger inflation, it seems unlikely. We may see a freeze in the price of season tickets and matchday admissions – but we suspect that is all we can hope for.