The 2015-2016 English Premier League season was a season of upheaval and change. Upwards of nine managers were fired, with some teams going through as many as three managers within the season . Leicester City, a team that was expected to be relegated from the Premier League, won the league. To put that into perspective, the cost of purchasing all of the players on their team was $78.9 million. Manchester City’s squad cost $607.4 million. The champions of the previous season, Chelsea, finished in a lowly 10th place. This season doesn’t just show a change of the champions of one of the best football leagues in Europe, but where the EPL is headed.
It is becoming increasingly more apparent that Leicester City winning the title will become less astonishing in the coming years. The Premier League is quickly outnumbering the other leagues in Europe in terms of compensation. This is due to massive TV and marketing deals, with the Premier League being the most popular sports league in the world. Premier League games are broadcasted to an astonishing 4.7 billion people, in 212 territories. Aston Villa, relegated from the Premier League this year after winning only three games, still generated more revenue over the 2014-2015 season than Napoli, a team that came in second in the Italian Serie A this season. The bottom feeders of the Premier League are making absurd amounts of money. With that money, the status of “bottom feeders” will start to slip away, and they will be able to build a team with higher quality players. For example, West Ham United, a team that has been consistently average over their history, bought Dimitri Payet this summer, from Olympique de Marseille. Many distinguished teams across Europe, some with history of European cup wins and domestic league championships, fought for his signature. But West Ham, a team with relatively little recent success, managed to sign him. He shined this season, scoring 12 goals, and assisting 14 others. West Ham ended up qualifying for European soccer over teams such as Liverpool and Chelsea, both of which have plenty of championships and league cup wins under their belts. Major changes in the EPL are clearly taking place.
However, the teams that usually grab the top spots on the table will not fade away. As wealthy as the teams that once formerly solely occupied the bottom half of the table are becoming, it is hard to deny the power that some teams have. It is not as if the league will even out, and that those who have more money will lose it and those who have less will gain. There is simply more money being poured into the league at every junction. The added money provides a platform for teams to expand, and for new foreign talent to be added in league. The concept of a throwaway game has quickly deteriorated, with most games being a significant fight against generally even matched teams. Of course, there is usually at least one team in the league that is completely awful, and the starters may be rested for that game. Overall, though, a substantial majority of teams in the Premier League pack a significant punch nowadays.
The changes that are happening in the Premier League are definitely positive. It allows for an extremely high overall quality of teams, with far better players and coaches. Leicester City winning the Premier League with a squad of young, untested players and veterans that have played all over England, is nothing short of a miracle. But more teams from Leicester’s status will start to gain serious ground on the perennial league winners, and many more players from all over Europe will flock to many different Premier League teams. It’s quite a time in the history of the EPL.
By Sebastian De Lasa