Another English Premiership season is over. Guess what? Manchester United won it again.
On 11th August 2008, I posted my predictions for the English Premier League (see it here). Guess what? I predicted that Manchester United would win it.
Now, does this make me Nostradamus? Should I go out and buy a lottery ticket for next week, knowing that I will surely win and become a millionaire?
No – of course not. Why? Because, as I said in August, the Premiership has become so predictable that even a man like me, who supports a team in the third tier of English football, can predict who will be crowned the English Champions. Furthermore, I managed to predict the top four – although I chose second and third place the wrong way round.
As for the rest of the positions, clubs like Stoke City, Wigan Athletic, Middlesborough, Fulham and Newcastle United let me down, but by and large my predictions were not too far away.
All this goes to show that I was right – the Premiership has become a boring season long spectacle. The games are exciting to watch but the result is totally predictable. There were one or two exceptions but generally that was the case.
I know for a fact that exactly the same will happen next season. There may be the odd surprise but I know that Manchester United will batter Wolves and Arsenal will destroy Sunderland.
I won’t repeat the previous post and moan again; I’ve said all I need to say.
However, what I would like to happen is for somebody somewhere to level the playing field somehow.
I look back fondly to the days when a club could come from nowhere and win the league or a cup. I remember great days when players actually played for the love of the club and not a colossal salary.
In my lifetime, Walsall, the club that has taken possession of my soul, has beaten Manchester United and Arsenal. That would not happen now, unless those clubs fielded a weakened team.
The heart of football has been wrenched out by the bony hand of corporate greed. We now see multi-millionaires throwing enormous sums of cash at the biggest clubs.
The romance of football is becoming a fading memory.
And, to be perfectly honest, it saddens me to the very core of my being. It used to be that Premiership clubs could compete with each other – now they can’t because we have a four-tiered league within a league.
It has been a sad season for true football fans and it will continue to decline as more and more millions come into the elite clubs.
I implore the governing bodies to level the playing field and do something about this. A wage cap would be a start. Getting rid of the so-called “big four” would be an alternative – if they want to play the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and AC Milan week in week out, let them do it and let the rest of us enjoy a more competitive competition.
The game I grew up with and loved is dying, dear readers, and the disease it has is incurable greed. Why else would American and Russian billionaires pump millions into clubs they know nothing about? Is it because they suddenly become Chelsea or Manchester United fans overnight? Of course it isn’t. The sport has become big business and the very soul of it is blackened as a result.
The grim reaper is hammering nails into the coffin of the game I love; he has almost finished.