Before Saturday, the three promoted sides to the Premier League had managed three points between them out of a possible 48, which poses the question, is the gap getting too big, and will it continue to keep on getting bigger?
Sheffield United 0 Newcastle United 8 is a scoreline which underlines the gulf in quality between the newly promoted sides and the top 10 clubs.
The financial gulf started in 2008, when Manchester City got taken over by Sheikh Mansour, City would spend £60 million on players, and it would snowball from there. By 2023, Manchester City had spent £1.57 billion, signing anyone they want. With the transfer market becoming more and more inflated rapidly, multiple clubs, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal all spending over £150 million+ on players in multiple transfer windows for a few years, the gap slowly started to become bigger and bigger,
“Staying there is the hardest part, the gulf in quality they are coming up against is massive. Teams going up and staying there would be a massive benefit to the championship and for Championship managers” says Ryan Lowe, Preston North End manager, who has the club up in third in the championship, battling teams like Leicester who came down with massive parachute payments.
The difference in TV money between the Championship and the Premier League is staggering, £330 million compared to £2.3 billion.
Therefore, creating even more of a gap for teams like Rotherham and QPR in the Championship, very similar to the Premier League with the teams like Leicester, Leeds and Southampton and the parachute payments coming down. So for teams like QPR, Rotherham, It’s hard for them to stay and build in the championship each year.
Gareth Ainsworth the QPR Manager whose team is 22nd in the league said “Unless you spend loads of money to guarantee staying up and even then, it doesn’t guarantee safety, why would a chairman do that? What if it doesn’t work, it’s a massive gamble, and the gulf is just going to get even bigger with the cash in that league.”
Burnley who won the championship last season, spent over £90 million on players and are still miles away from teams like Fulham and Crystal Palace, let alone teams in the top half of the Premier League, which shows unless you have a unbelievably good manager or you get lucky, your going to struggle to stay up.
Teams like Brighton, Aston Villa, Brentford all improving and signing international quality players like Diary, Ansu Fati etc making it even harder for the promoted clubs to get results as now there is more quality from a variety of teams, not just six or seven.
Marco Silva Fulham manager said “it’s hard and becoming harder. In my opinion the gap is getting bigger partly because the premier league is so competitive on and off the pitch. What everyone is saying about the three promoted clubs, the same was said last season and all three survived, it’s too early.” Fulham managed to secure a 10th placed finish last season, with Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth all staying up.
What can be done to stop the gap getting bigger?
The streaming platform, DAZN was understood to be keen on a long-term deal with the EFL for at least five years. DAZN Felt the EFL is “underexposed”, with some clubs in League 1 and 2 never featuring on television, the partnership could have helped close the gap with the Premier League, However the deal fell through, and despite bidding for the tv rights, the EFL have confirmed Sky Sports are the “preferred bidder”. Going forward the gap will only get bigger, with the prices for players going up and up by every transfer window, teams will spend more on players, and even with the payments teams receive from getting promoted it won’t be enough, very soon the gap from the bottom three to midtable will be increasing.
With the amount of money being pumped into football nowadays don’t be surprised to see the gap between promoted clubs and the top 10 clubs in the premier league increase even more, Leicester winning the premier league again and unless clubs are willing to spend a lot of money, clubs will keep on struggling, might not effect teams like Leicester, Leeds or Southampton when they come back up, but teams like Luton, and any nearly promoted side will struggle to even get results against Crystal Palace, Fulham and Nottingham Forest, let alone getting enough points throughout the course of the season to stay up and try and build on the past season. It will get to a point where all three promoted teams will be relegated with 7 or 8 games to go, as the gap continues to get bigger.