Is Premier League competitiveness dying?

By Jack Bryant

‘Most competitive league in the world’, ‘Most unpredictable league in the world’, ‘Most exciting league in the world’, ‘Anyone can beat anyone’.

These are the phrases widely used by pundits, managers, players and fans up and down the country, but are they all lies? 

The Premier League has been praised in recent years for having a different team win the league every year, especially while other top leagues in Europe have been heavily dominated by one or two sides at most. But are those times coming to an end? 

Manchester City’s title win last season made them the first team to retain the premier league title since Manchester United managed it a decade ago. Liverpool came ridiculously close last season and the title race this season seems to again be a two-horse race. The same situation many Premier League fans have mocked other leagues for is happening to their league. 

Not only is the Premier League becoming less competitive, but other leagues are becoming more competitive themselves. The points gap between 1st and 9th in the Bundesliga is only five points. If you think that’s impressive, there is a five point gap in La Liga from 1st to 13th. The table looks incredible. A combination of Bayern Munich and Barcelona declining as well as the rise of teams like Borussia Monchengladbach, Real Sociedad and RB Leipzig has led to the German and Spanish top flights becoming the most competitive they’ve been in years. 

Famous quotes like ‘Anyone can beat anyone’ and ‘There are no easy games in the Premier league’ are still commonly used yet in the last couple of seasons it couldn’t be further from the truth. Manchester City picked up a total of 198 points from the 17/18 and 18/19 seasons overall. Whereas the Champions of the so called ‘easier leagues’ have picked up less points. 

Team name 17/18 league points 18/19 league points Total points over the last two seasons 

Thus proving the smaller teams in La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 have taken more points off of their respective league champions than the smaller teams in the Premier League have done to Manchester City. 

While teams in the Bundesliga only play 34 games in a season compared to the Premier League’s 38 games, champions Bayern Munich could play four more games, winning all of them, taking the league game tally to 38 and even still they would finish with less points than Manchester City. Mental. 

I think we should acknowledge and accept that the Premier League is not as competitive as it used to be, as well as giving the other top leagues in Europe more credit for becoming more competitive themselves. The sooner people stop using the false quotes mentioned throughout this article, the better. 

Sub-edited by Ciaran Coyle

This image by ФК ШАХТЕР complies with Creative Commons License.

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