Every kid in the street, from Brooklyn and Chandni Chowk to Abbey Road and Boulevard Saint-Germain, forms dreams of playing in the Barclays Premier League. Whether it be the Theater of Dreams or Anfield or The Etihad or Stamford Bridge, they want to have their name in the spotlight in the grandest stage of all. The 21′st century, English football has reached the pinnacle of fame and success whereas, its national team remains as dismal as ever. What brought in the change? Will there ever be a backlash?
The EPL is arguably the best and most competitive league with the largest fan following in the world. So what if El Classico is the most watched game in the world, half of them have no idea how much the game matters to the players and are seeing it mostly due to social insecurities. Money has a become huge part since early 2003, when Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea and tried to create a carbon copy of Real Madrid in England. Since then, there was never any turning back, as more and more people started following the game. You’ll Never Walk Alone and GGMU became as common as Dal and Roti in India with a huge fan following from outside Europe.
The game improved, the fans were there, logistically everything was perfect and money was there. Top European players could not help but be attracted towards England. European personalities were always there but now they became much more prominent in the Big 4 of early 2005. There was never any looking back as TV revenue increased and broadcasting companies were ready to pay in billions to telecast live matches. But the question will always loom if there will ever come a day when everything stops and we rewind ourselves back to the ice age.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and the young bloods; Manchester City are becoming household names in Asia and other continents. People are watching the game with passion like never before. Fanaticism is at large when recession is affecting economies and showing signs of the great depression like the one in the 1930′s. But the English Premier League has stood strong, with money being poured in and players just expressing their dreams publicly that they want to play in England. Talents are being attracted and more fans are turning on their TVs just to switch over to ESPN and Star Sports to catch that last match highlights.
The English have been criticised as their own league does not have enough players to put together, 11 British nationals to play in the World Cup as teams prefer European talents. Fabio Capello’s preparations for the 2010 World Cup were hampered by the fact that more than half of Premier League players were not eligible to play for England. Considering the Bundesliga and La Liga, three fourth of Spain and Germany are made up of Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively. So they came up with a new rule, atleast 8 players have to be homegrown, 36 months prior to his 21′st birthday, irrespective of his nationality. But to counter the nationality problem as clubs started finding loopholes to that, they made work permits more strict as the player had to play 75 % of his country’s primary team matches.
As it goes today, that still hasn’t solved the problem and its just about time that FA lose their minds and take a huge step that could just end the excitement and flair in the English Premier League. No English manager has ever won the league and that is pretty worrying.
Second reason in my eyes is UEFA and its so called craziness. It has already tried to pull back financial powerhouses by bringing the financial fair play rule but the loopholes in that are also being found by these oil rich owners who are first and foremost, businessman who know to make profit like the back of their palms. What happens if UEFA and FIFA pass rules that limits the transfer budgets of clubs to say 50 -60 million? Any club who goes above it could face consequences like removal from European competitions, fines etc. If the FFP does not go the way UEFA wants it to go then there will be a quite a big response from them by passing a much stronger and stricter law.
Much remains to be seen as we enter a new exciting season of English football with everyone having big hopes for their teams. At the moment it all looks bright but it could all come tumbling down and the Premier League could go through a phase never experienced before.