Saturday, 14 July 2012
Probably the most uncompetitive league in the world....
If one believes all spouted by the Premier League's propaganda machinery then the PL is the most competitive and the finest league in the world. Like all things related to complex statistics, one can always find numbers to back up any argument, but overall one has to objectively look at trends to see where the truth lies in this debate, is the Premier League really that competitive?
The featured graph above shows that the reducing competitively of the PL should be something that concerns us. The top teams are picking up more points per game and the lesser teams are picking up fewer points per game than in days of old. This is not isolated to the PL, the same worrying trend is apparent in the Italian and Spanish leagues.
There are many other measures which demonstrate the lack of competitively in the PL, here the Guardian uses a points based measure to show how the gap between top and bottom in England is highest, as is the gap from 4th to 4th bottom, and this is out of all the major footballing leagues in the World! Another excellent Guardian article shows how things have got steadily less competitive in the last thirty years. It is simple utter rubbish to claim that the PL is an open and competitive league, the statistics show that it is getting less and less competitive over time, and that it is one of the least competitive leagues in the world!
The financial inequality in the PL is of even greater concern. Numerous reliable and valid measures of inequality show that the trend in the PL is towards more and more domination by the rich few at the top. The Four-Firm Concentration Ratio (CR4) and Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) give this game away, as does the worrying trend away from the Lorenz curve. The rise in inequality is well shown by the fact that in 2009/10, 75% of the cumulative £XI (average cost of starting eleven over season) is in the top 8 clubs, ten years earlier the figure was only 45%.
The unsustainable spending by the morally bankrupt clubs in the PL is wrecking the game, I rest my case, things are getting worse and worse, the PL is becoming more and more predictable. Of course we now have some great world class players on show thanks to the ill gotten gains of Abrahmovich et al, however is this a price worth paying to have a league that is in danger of becoming one of the dullest and least competitive in world sport? I would argue strongly no, we badly need some tough regulation of football to ensure that it is more competitive, a strategy that has worked well in the US and Australia is salary caps.
Obviously there is precious little chance of that happening with our deeply corrupt and money grabbing governing bodies which include the PL, the FA, UEFA and FIFA. Financial Fair Play is not designed to stop the unsustainable spending funded by rich investors, it is there to avoid debt, so anyone hoping FFP will do anything to make things a bit more competitive and exciting is in for a nasty surprise. If nothing is done then the PL will simply continue down this road towards total dullness and a complete lack of competition. Maybe Chelsea and City fans will enjoy this in the short term, unfortunately we will all be losers in the long term. Just don't believe the hype from the PL press office and Sky Sports, the PL is not a competitive league, it is a very dull one, relatively speaking.