Powerful TV money has made even the smallest Premier League able to spend big during the transfer window, some even more than traditional European giants, according to The Daily Mail.
It’s already an established phenomenon that most of the Premier League’s clubs can now compete with virtually every club in the major leagues of Europe for top players aside from the ‘mega’ clubs of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.
Last summer alone saw some of the Premier League’s ‘smaller’ clubs hire stars from teams with much more illustrious profiles. Stoke acquired Xherdan Shaqiri from Inter Milan and Ibrahim Afellay from Barcelona. Leicester hired one of German football’s in-form players in Shinji Okazaki from Mainz, while Crystal Palace were able to lure a player from PSG (Yohan Cabaye) and West Ham were able to take players from European Cup finalists Juventus (Angelo Ogbonna) and French title-challengers Marseille (Dimitri Payet).
These are just a few examples and the trend will carry on, because money will continue to talk. Arsenal are on a par with Barcelona. Leicester are ‘bigger’ than La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid. West Ham are ‘bigger’ than billionaire runaway Ligue 1 leaders, PSG. Crystal Palace are on the coat-tails of five-times European Cup winners, Bayern Munich. Watford and Stoke are ahead of last season’s German runners-up Wolfsburg.
And little Bournemouth from the south coast, the smallest team ever to play in England’s top division, are inside an elite top 30 of European football that doesn’t include Italian titans Milan, 18 times winners of Serie A and seven times champions of Europe.
And that is before the new TV deals kick in next season and income from this source rises by 50 per cent or more. It goes without saying that the real ‘giants’ like Barca, Real, Bayern and PSG have other huge income streams from commercial sources. They can also pay big salaries.
But increasingly even the smallest Premier League teams will be in with a shout of luring stars from everywhere who want the wages available in England and the platform the Premier League offers.