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Is the Premier League Becoming a Closed Shop for the Rich?

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Chelsea and Newcastle United are the most recent Premier League clubs to have enjoyed a takeover at the hands of billionaire investors. Manchester United are in talks with two groups regarding the potential sale of the club by the Glazer Family, while Fenway Sports Group are reportedly open to the sale of Liverpool.

Manchester City’s hold over the top of the Premier League is not going to go away while Sheikh Mansour remains in charge and willingly injecting resources into the club. Arsenal’s benefactors have spent huge sums of money into the on-field operation that has allowed the club to make a charge towards the Premier League crown in the 2022/23 season. Tottenham also continue to invest heavily in their playing squad, despite the heavy outlay of funds on their state-of-the-art stadium.

What can Newcastle achieve?

The big six have been the status quo in the Premier League for a number of years now, alternating between which teams compete in the Champions League. Newcastle have barged down the door in the 2022/23 season and are putting up a strong fight for a place in the top four. Their odds are compelling with two months to go so fans could line up a free bet from available sportsbooks con comparison platforms such as OddsChecker to back the Magpies to pull off the feat, 18 months removed from appearing stricken to the Championship.

PFI’s takeover of the Magpies has certainly saved the club from the second tier and Eddie Howe’s men are now challenging at the least for a place in the Europa League and potentially more. Teams below Newcastle including Brighton and Brentford are also in contention, but the North East outfit have temporarily stolen a march on their rivals.

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Other teams will be looking at the Magpies in belief that they could do the same with similar levels of investment, although other than Aston Villa in the bottom half of the table, there is not quite the same level of desire to invest. Everton have learned the hard way after spending £600m to attempt to bridge the gap to the top six, only to fail drastically and are now in a bitter battle to remain in the Premier League. Nottingham Forest invested over £150 in summer signings in a bid to remain in the top flight, and could be counting the costs should they take the step back to the Championship.

It is the question that all clubs have to ask themselves. Do they spend in an attempt to push towards the top six and beyond or balance the books and remain in the division? The Premier League has developed a worrying trend of favouring clubs that have the deepest pockets, which has been the case since Roman Abramovich’s takeover of Chelsea in 2003.

Growing trend

Even with the departure of Abramovich and Chelsea’s seemingly failed attempt to reach the Champions League in the 2022/23 season, the Blues can still spend well beyond the realms of other sides in the division. Despite failing to compete for the Premier League crown, Manchester United have not shied away from spending money either.

Chelsea are going to continue to spend under Todd Boehly to try to get back to the top, and if United are taken over by a new investor, expect them to splash significant sums.

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The Premier League has always been a division that has favoured big-spending clubs, but it is danger of becoming a closed shop in the top half of the table. Brighton and Brentford are in the top half for now, but the tale of Southampton and Leicester proves that it is very difficult to sustain success on a budget, especially when you continually lose your best players to other Premier League outfits.

Newcastle might be the outlier that manages to use their wealth to hang on to their stars such as Bruno Guimaraes and Sven Botman. Villa could be an interesting to watch to see whether they can buck the trend, but the Premier League is now the haves vs the have nots for the foreseeable future.

 

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