Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday June 3 2009
The Daily Mail published the Premier League list of earners for prize money and tv payments yesterday and I was all ready to do an article and then the Barry thing exploded and I lost interest!
However interest restored, it doesn't really make good reading, despite Villa being 6th for the second year running, it clearly shows we had not far off HALF of what Manchester United got with Chelsea over £33million higher in the loot. Arsenal and Liverpool also came out with massive amounts and this is all down to the Champions League.
My fear is modern football is doomed, there is NO WAY unless you get an ultra (and I mean ULTRA) rich owner that you can hope to compete with the difference in income and that is BEFORE you take into account merchandising and gate receipts.
The Champions League, for me, is ruining football and although there is now some tame talk of looking to distribute the money more evenly, I just can't see it. Socialism in football is not going to catch on and so we either see the rich clubs get richer - especially when they are allowed to take on MASSIVE debt without any penalty at all - or it becomes a p*ssing contest between billionaires.
Man Utd have reportedly around £1billion in debt, Liverpool around £670 000million and even Arsenal carry huge debts for the Emirates Stadium which means they rely on a top four place each season to really push forward.
How is that a level playing field with the likes of Villa carrying no debt?
Exactly, it isn't and the rules won't change because the top four have become THE most powerful voices and why would they want change?
All a bit depressing perhaps! Modern football is baffling, I got the grumps when we sacrificed a chance of some silverware for a top 4 position this season, as did many fans. I understood the reality of it but didn't accept this was the Villa way. Turns out the gamble backfired BIG time anyway BUT you have to look and question what is the point? As a kid winning the league was the point and obviously we got to see Villa do so. We nearly did it again in the first year of the Premiership only to lose out. Then we could have pushed on but.... well we all know that part.
What I'm saying is football is now up its own arse basically. We used to start each season knowing we had a chance. Not a God given right, but a chance. Now how many teams can realistically think they can win the league when the new season kicks off? It was four, it might now be five with the money Manchester City will spend - hey, Chelsea bought the league, why should we not expect Man City to be able to do the same?
As for the rest of us? No idea, as Villa fans we aren't happy with drifting but then how do you break into the monopoly? We have good owners, we have no debt, we have a large and historic ground, the foundations are there but if the playing field isn't level - and lets face it there are many clubs who would love to be our size so it might look a bit rich a Villan moaning - then what exactly are we all doing?
Maybe a re-focus to decent cup runs could very well be the way to go?
Who knows... and if the league carries on like this, the Premier League, Football Leagues and the FA might have to start to worry because there will be many a fan going from 'who knows' to 'who cares?'
Earnings, in millions of pounds, by Premier League clubs in 2008/09 season (not including gate receipts or merchandise income)...
Lge pos Prem Lge (£m) Europe (£m) Cups (£m) Total
1 (1) Manchester United 52.3 33.7 4.0 m£90.0mm
2 (3) Chelsea 48.4 27.7 5.1 £81.2m
3 (4) Arsenal 47.2 23.4 2.8 £73.4m
4 (2) Liverpool 51.1 20.4 0.8 £72.3m
5 (5) Everton 45.4 0 4.1 £49.5m
6 (6) Aston Villa 45.2 0.4 0.8 £46.4m
7 (10) Manchester City 40.7 3.7 0.2 £44.6m
8 (8) Tottenham Hotspur 43.2 0.4 0.8 £44.4m
9 (9) West Ham United 41.0 0 1.0 £42.0m
10 (7) Fulham 40.6 0 1.0 £41.6m
11 (11) Wigan Athletic 37.5 0 0.6 £38.1m
12 (18) Newcastle United 37.0 0 0.2 £37.2m
13 (12) Stoke City 36.8 0 0.2 £37.0m
14 (13) Bolton Wanderers 36.0 0 0.2 £36.2m
15 (14) Portsmouth 35.2 0 0.6 £35.8m
16 (15) Blackburn Rovers 35.0 0 0.5 £35.5m
17 (17) Hull City 33.0 0 1.4 £34.4m
18 (16) Sunderland 33.7 0 0.3 £34.0m
19 (19) Middlesbrough 31.4 0 1.4 £32.8m
20 (20) WesthBromwichhAlbion 31.6 0 0.3 £31.9m
Date:Wednesday June 3 2009
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