The economic power of the Premier, a constant threat to the League

Alexander Isak celebrates a goal with Real Sociedad. / Eric Gaillard / reuters


The signing of Isak by Newcastle, who pays 70 million to Real in exchange for the Swede, the last of the many moves from Spain to England

Jose Manuel Andres

Newcastle United broke the summer market in its final stretch with a pharaonic transfer of 70 million fixed euros plus another five depending on variables to Real Sociedad for Swedish striker Alexander Isak. The movement, which surprised locals and strangers alike and shocked the League due to its size in times of lean times, is by no means an isolated event, but rather an operation that affects a clear trend in world football: no one can cope to the economic power of the Premier League.

And it is that Newcastle, a club with tradition in England but come to less in recent decades, is the last to get on the bandwagon of foreign capital. The Saudi investment is beginning to show at St James’ Park, where Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes arrived last summer in exchange for more than 40 million and now Isak has landed, breaking the bank.

More than 1,700 million euros have been spent by Premier clubs in a market in which they have barely entered 700 million in terms of player sales. The secret of this financial manna is hidden mainly in income from television rights, a section in which the English championship is in another dimension compared to the rest of the major European leagues. More than 3,500 million euros entered the 20 best clubs in England in this sense in the 2021-22 season, with the League slightly above 2,000 million, the Bundesliga below 1,500, the Italian Serie A at 1,123 and the French Ligue 1 entering 687.

This being the case, it is not surprising that in the offices of the Spanish clubs they begin to tremble when their English colleagues call the phone. Another example is the transfer of Casemiro to Manchester United. The ‘red devils’ decided to cure their sporting sorrows by going to Spain for purchases and after tempting Atlético for Joao Félix, putting 130 million euros on the table, they managed to convince the Brazilian midfielder to leave the Champions League champion to play in a Europa League team. They did so with a four-year contract plus an optional one, emoluments that practically double what the player received in Chamartín and 70 million euros that could reach 85 depending on variables.

According to recent events, not even the powerful Real Madrid is safe from the power of the Premier, in which this summer they have landed from the Diego Carlos League, for which Aston Villa paid Sevilla 30 million; Estupiñán, signed by Brighton to Villarreal in exchange for almost 18 million; or Guedes, until now a Valencia star that Wolverhampton has incorporated for 40 million.

It is no longer that the ‘Big Six’, that select club of the six largest in England, has left more than 800 million euros in reinforcements -Chelsea, 201.59 million; Manchester United, 143.02; Arsenal 132.06 million; Manchester City, 121.75; Tottenham, 119.9; and Liverpool, 85.8-, but also the middle and lower class of the Premier has the ability to snatch important players from teams in the noble zone in Spain, as evidenced by the fact that it has moved 900 million euros.

The middle and lower class

And it is that the six best clubs of the last League have invested 337 million euros in signings -Barça, 153; Real Madrid, 80; Royal Society, 31.5; Seville, 28; Athletic, 26.5; and Betis, 18-, less than half compared to the ‘Big Six’, but the real contrast is that the remaining 14 clubs have barely spent one hundred million in the market.

Transfers at zero cost and transfers are the formulas preferred by the managers and sports directors of the League, in clear contrast to the English extravagance. In the financial chapter there is no possible competition and only the clinical eye, the local talent and the expertise on the board allow Spanish football to rub shoulders year after year with the representatives of the threatening Premier.


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