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.
If your base point is 2000 why mention Laudrup and Gascoigne? They where long gone by then. A quick Google tells me Larsson didn't sign his big deal at Celtic till 2001 either, by which point Sol Campbell was already on more than double that.
The top teams in Scotland never competed financially with England since the Sky money came into the game, this is not just a recent thing. Outwith Celtic and Rangers the highest fee ever spent by a Scottish club is £1m, there really never has been any comparison in my lifetime.
I can't speak for the finances for the leagues abroad but it's not like Sky paying big money into the PL is a recent thing either, it's happened since 92. Barring Serie A in the 90's no other league has been able to compete with that. You had a promoted side signing Anelka in 2002, when have Osasuna ever been able to do that? Again though that's nearly 20 years ago now, not a recent thing.
We can argue about quality of players from then and now, that's impossible to prove, it's a fact though that the financial gap between the PL and the rest of the world was as big then as it is now. Granted with the inflation of fees it looks a lot bigger on paper.