Is The Premier League Tougher Than It Used To Be?

Is It?


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Tir Na Nog

Changes Opinion Every 5 Minutes
Ashley Cole after the game "I've marked Ronaldo out of games several times, but my word Antonio Valencia is next level, I just couldn't deal with him. He's a monumental upgrade".
 

bingobob

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That money has always been there for the mid to lower table sides in England though.

You had sides like Fulham and City getting promoted and paying 10m+ for French internationals like Marlet and Anelka in the early 2000's. I don't think any promoted sides where capable of that in Spain or Italy back then either. With inflation that's now a 30m+ fee.
I think it's important to put things is some context. The context I'd put it in is Celtic and to a lesser extent cause I've no time for them is Rangers.

Back in 2000 Celtic hired Martin O’Neill a highly sought after coach tipped for United and potentially England. They signed Chris Sutton for a club record and Scottish record of 6m. At that point the English record was 15m (for Sutton former striker partner Shearer) and the world record was 37m for Figo.

Back in 2000 Celtics top players were on a wage on par with Man Utd - Larsson earned 40k per week during this period and Roy Keane (the best paid player in British football at this point) was on 50k. Larsson as a fantastic servant and player he was able to stay at Celtic because the financial situation at the time allowed it.

If we fast forward to today there are players on 400k per week in England meanwhile Celtics too earner is earning less than the top earners 21 years ago. Celtic cannot compete with lower placed EPL teams for fees or wages. The club record signing is 9m, in England its 100m and the world record signing is over 200m. Brentford a newly promoted team spent 15m on a player that eclipses the Scottish record which is still from 2000 (12m Rangers paid for Flo)

Its in this context that I feel English football has improved significantly. They've so much money they don't know what to do with it. Aside from the obvious investment in players and being able to pay more than the rest they invest in infrastructure. They get the best equipment, the best coaches, the best dietations, the best sports scientists. Anything to give them an edge. Players are better informed now. No boozing Monday to Friday and playing on a Saturday. They travel in luxury. They're not brought running for miles but have custom training programs. They've brought in proper business people to run clubs like businesses. It's a different game and it's a shame people bring Wenger into it. In 21 years Celtic and Rangers went for competiting with the top teams in England to bei g dwarfed by the bottom and scrapping finances of some championship and league one teams.
 

Blood on the Tracks

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I think part of the problem with modern football in a wider context is that Messi and Ronaldo have absolutely destroyed the scale of greatness because they're obscenely good and racked up numbers you only see on FIFA or FM.

Go back in time to a little before them and players we considered great, and who were legitimately great can't hold a flame to them statistically.

Kaka never scored more than 16 league goals in a season in Europe.
Ronaldinho 21.
 

IstraBalagina

Well-Known Member
I've seen some poor arguments, this one takes the absolute biscuit tho. :lol:
There's no argument here, you're deluded just like the other Wengerists. He was finished.
And the stadium excuse is lame af because he finished 6th 12 years later lmao
Actually we were more competitive when we first built the stadium.
 

Tir Na Nog

Changes Opinion Every 5 Minutes
There's no argument here, you're deluded just like the other Wengerists. He was finished.
And the stadium excuse is lame af because he finished 6th 12 years later lmao
Actually we were more competitive when we first built the stadium.

Who said he didn't under achieve that season? I think most would say we should've done a bit better than we did. But the quality of the side all things considered was pretty lacking in comparison to other sides.
 

AberGooner

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I think it's important to put things is some context. The context I'd put it in is Celtic and to a lesser extent cause I've no time for them is Rangers.

Back in 2000 Celtic hired Martin O’Neill a highly sought after coach tipped for United and potentially England. They signed Chris Sutton for a club record and Scottish record of 6m. At that point the English record was 15m (for Sutton former striker partner Shearer) and the world record was 37m for Figo.

Back in 2000 Celtics top players were on a wage on par with Man Utd - Larsson earned 40k per week during this period and Roy Keane (the best paid player in British football at this point) was on 50k. Larsson as a fantastic servant and player he was able to stay at Celtic because the financial situation at the time allowed it.

If we fast forward to today there are players on 400k per week in England meanwhile Celtics too earner is earning less than the top earners 21 years ago. Celtic cannot compete with lower placed EPL teams for fees or wages. The club record signing is 9m, in England its 100m and the world record signing is over 200m. Brentford a newly promoted team spent 15m on a player that eclipses the Scottish record which is still from 2000 (12m Rangers paid for Flo)

Its in this context that I feel English football has improved significantly. They've so much money they don't know what to do with it. Aside from the obvious investment in players and being able to pay more than the rest they invest in infrastructure. They get the best equipment, the best coaches, the best dietations, the best sports scientists. Anything to give them an edge. Players are better informed now. No boozing Monday to Friday and playing on a Saturday. They travel in luxury. They're not brought running for miles but have custom training programs. They've brought in proper business people to run clubs like businesses. It's a different game and it's a shame people bring Wenger into it.

Keane was on a lot more than any Celtic player back then. Highest player in the league if I remember correctly and considering Campbell was on about 90k with us it's safe to say Keane was nearer the 100k bracket.

No doubt Celtic and Rangers spent a lot back then but it ultimately proved to be money they couldn't afford and even then sides in England spent a hell of a lot more than them. The likes of Van Bronckhorst, Petrov and Boumsong leaving are testiment to that. Larsson or Numan where unusual cases as guys being very loyal, no doubt regular European competition helped with that.

Back then Rangers and Celtic where consistently making the CL group stages and good runs in the UEFA Cup. Sutton was a flop at Chelsea but I'm sure other English teams would have been interested. The lure of CL football probably helped get him, something no Scottish side could guarantee now.

You also had the SPL receiving a good TV deal compared to now with Sky and the BBC allowing sides to spend far outwith their means. After that collapsed Dundee and Motherwell went into administration, O'Neill left Celtic with huge debt which Lawwell eventually cleared and we all know what happened with the Oldco Rangers. It's very rare to see any fees being spent over 200k by sides outside of Rangers and Celtic now.
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
There's no argument here, you're deluded just like the other Wengerists. He was finished.
And the stadium excuse is lame af because he finished 6th 12 years later lmao
Actually we were more competitive when we first built the stadium.
It’s hard to read rubbish like this without laughing, as much as you’d like not to.
 
Last edited:

Alexs

Well-Known Member
Tougher, better, stronger, faster. Natural evolution
It’s the oil and oligarch money at City and Chelsea that inevitably took two spots away from the top four from the likes of us. Add TV money and teams like West Ham and Southampton become perennially competitive.

Add the stadium move, disinterested owners, bizarre appointments, general incompetence on and off the pitch. I don’t even see a light at the end of the tunnel. We are in a perfect storm of the league getting stronger as we have grown weaker.
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
Is it harder for Arsenal now in the EPL than it was 10 years ago. The answer is definitely not, lots of clubs were outspending us then, only 4 now.

Lock the thread.
 

bingobob

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Keane was on a lot more than any Celtic player back then. Highest player in the league if I remember correctly and considering Campbell was on about 90k with us it's safe to say Keane was nearer the 100k bracket.

No doubt Celtic and Rangers spent a lot back then but it ultimately proved to be money they couldn't afford and even then sides in England spent a hell of a lot more than them. The likes of Van Bronckhorst, Petrov and Boumsong leaving are testiment to that. Larsson or Numan where unusual cases as guys being very loyal, no doubt regular European competition helped with that.

Back then Rangers and Celtic where consistently making the CL group stages and good runs in the UEFA Cup. Sutton was a flop at Chelsea but I'm sure other English teams would have been interested. The lure of CL football probably helped get him, something no Scottish side could guarantee now.

You also had the SPL receiving a good TV deal compared to now with Sky and the BBC allowing sides to spend far outwith their means. After that collapsed Dundee and Motherwell went into administration, O'Neill left Celtic with huge debt which Lawwell eventually cleared and we all know what happened with the Oldco Rangers. It's very rare to see any fees being spent over 200k by sides outside of Rangers and Celtic now.

Roy Keane new contract story from Dec 1999 making him the highest paid player in British football contract at 50k per week.

Point is those guys like Larsson, Laudrup, Gazza and so on played in Scotland because the wages were on par or near par with the top teams in England. Money changed that. Money flew into England and Celtic and Rangers couldn't offer comparative salaries anymore.

Petrov left for Villa being the writing on the wall. Money in England went on players and contracts and then into infrastructure. Look at the new facility opened by Leicester for example.

The gap that English football has opened up on competitors is night and day. Its why we seen the super league emerge. The top teams elsewhere dwarfed by English teams. A whose who of rich clubs shows that. Going to wiki and looking back at the richest clubs in 2007 only 3 English clubs were in the top 10 and 7 in the top 20 overall. This year 6 clubs make the top 10 and 9 in the top 20. That growth in financial capacity can only make the league stronger.
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
It’s the oil and oligarch money at City and Chelsea that inevitably took two spots away from the top four from the likes of us. Add TV money and teams like West Ham and Southampton become perennially competitive.

Add the stadium move, disinterested owners, bizarre appointments, general incompetence on and off the pitch. I don’t even see a light at the end of the tunnel. We are in a perfect storm of the league getting stronger as we have grown weaker.
You can‘t be serious. We’ve all got TV money, how does that give any one club an advantage? City and Chelsea were big 10 years ago too.

It was harder 10 years ago, we were spending a lot less relative to everybody else. Think about it for a moment! :lol:
 

Alexs

Well-Known Member
The question was is it harder than it used to be. The 10 years is arbitrary. City and Chelsea were also-rans until the money arrived. The TV money increased dramatically and levelled the general playing field, allowing established EPL clubs to consolidate whilst also making it far harder for teams like Forest, Sunderland, Derby to ever get back.
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
The question was is it harder than it used to be. The 10 years is arbitrary. City and Chelsea were also-rans until the money arrived. The TV money increased dramatically and levelled the general playing field, allowing established EPL clubs to consolidate whilst also making it far harder for teams like Forest, Sunderland, Derby to ever get back.
Wait, so you’re saying it’s harder for Chamionship sides to get back into it. Is that really what people have been discussing for 19 pages? :lol: I thought it was about whether it’s tougher for Arsenal.

This thread is a mess, total confusion.
 

Alexs

Well-Known Member
Wait, so you’re saying it’s harder for Chamionship sides to get back into it. Is that really what people have been discussing for 19 pages? :lol: I thought it was about whether it’s tougher for Arsenal.

This thread is a mess, total confusion.
Please forgive me for not trawling through 19 pages. Is it tougher for Arsenal? Well yes, we now have the league's worst manager instead of the best.
 

AberGooner

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Roy Keane new contract story from Dec 1999 making him the highest paid player in British football contract at 50k per week.

Point is those guys like Larsson, Laudrup, Gazza and so on played in Scotland because the wages were on par or near par with the top teams in England. Money changed that. Money flew into England and Celtic and Rangers couldn't offer comparative salaries anymore.

Petrov left for Villa being the writing on the wall. Money in England went on players and contracts and then into infrastructure. Look at the new facility opened by Leicester for example.

The gap that English football has opened up on competitors is night and day. Its why we seen the super league emerge. The top teams elsewhere dwarfed by English teams. A whose who of rich clubs shows that. Going to wiki and looking back at the richest clubs in 2007 only 3 English clubs were in the top 10 and 7 in the top 20 overall. This year 6 clubs make the top 10 and 9 in the top 20. That growth in financial capacity can only make the league stronger.

There you go 90k on Keane in 2002, no Scottish based player was on anything close to that.

By mentioning Gazza and Laudrup your moving the goalposts now, that's way back in the mid 90's when the PL money had only just started to come in. Again we now know that was money being spent which they couldn't afford which ultimately led to what happened to them.

Larsson admittedly was an unusual case no doubt helped by guaranteed European competition but the fact is English teams then had as much of a money gap over Scotland as they do now. Celtic's big fee was what 6m for Sutton? Off the top of my head I could name sides like City and Fulham who had already spend double than that on players, there really was and still is no comparison financially.

Admittedly fees look huge now but that's because of inflation. An average 5m fee back then is now 15-20m.
 

UpTheGunnerz

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I trust me eyes and memory when I say the league is tougher now. Ten years ago the big boys thumped smaller teams on the reg to a bigger extent than today
 

bingobob

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There you go 90k on Keane in 2002, no Scottish based player was on anything close to that.

By mentioning Gazza and Laudrup your moving the goalposts now, that's way back in the mid 90's when the PL money had only just started to come in. Again we now know that was money being spent which they couldn't afford which ultimately led to what happened to them.

Larsson admittedly was an unusual case no doubt helped by guaranteed European competition but the fact is English teams then had as much of a money gap over Scotland as they do now. Celtic's big fee was what 6m for Sutton? Off the top of my head I could name sides like City and Fulham who had already spend double than that on players, there really was and still is no comparison financially.

Admittedly fees look huge now but that's because of inflation. An average 5m fee back then is now 15-20m.
Not moving any goal posts. My original post is very specific in stating the year 2000. In the year 2000 the top earner at Celtic was near on par with the top earner in British football who played for United. You brought up 2002 (which cements my point)

The money in England went one way and in Scottish football the other. English football continued to smash records and Scottish football ended its records and money in it regressed.

The top teams in Scotland who spent years to that point in 2000 competing with the top teams in England financially went to a point where they couldn't compete with the bottom teams. That situation came about almost overnight. That's why the EPL has improved significantly from where it was then to now. The situation in Scotland is just one example. The top teams in Italy who were the big dogs in the 90s have been out paced by mid level English teams. If the top teams are being out paced what chance have lower teams in Italy? They cannot offer the same financial package as a Crystal Palace or Brighton. In Spain it's a similiar picture. The top 2 are bigger than the top English clubs but below that the wealth gap is off the charts. Osasuna cannot offer a package equivalent to Leeds.

That gives English teams a competitive advantage over every other league. And the outcome is a league that is stronger than it was 20 years ago, stronger than it was 10 years ago. And until that wealth gap ends it'll continue to be the case. It'll continue to attract the best and the best of the rest.

As someone from Scotland you should see it first hand. We seen it with the decline in players who either don't come or leave quickly. What happened in Scotland is now rippling out across Europe and beyond.
 
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