Leeds United learned the hard way that constant success is not guaranteed. Peter Risdale spent tens of millions on players (and a few hundred on goldfish). The expenditure was borrowed against future gate receipts and Champions League income. Their downfall inevitably came and it was brutal. Perhaps it was deserved for a club that gave Seth Johnson 40K per week?
The plight of Leeds illustrates how unforgiving the capitalist football world can be. They had a wonderful team back then; Kewell, Barmby, Viduka, Keane, Fowler etc., yet it was a ticking time bomb. As soon as results faltered, alarm bells started ringing in the accounts department. Leeds were the architects of their own downfall. They gambled too much on retaining their lofty status. Which brings us nicely to the Premier League….
The new TV deal has made minor players in the “
Richest Greatest League In The World’ extremely wealthy. Clubs are now earning astronomical sums for simply staying in the Premier League. There is a serious temptation for owners to spend big money in order to retain their seat at the top table. What happens if they then suddenly find themselves, playing Rotherham away on a cold Tuesday night?
Three teams getting relegated every year gives the false illusion that there’s only an outside chance of a team going down. Clubs spend crazy amounts knowing that their next pay check is coming next summer. If five teams were relegated every year, clubs would (hopefully) be more realistic about their chances, and budget accordingly.
This would have a knock-on effect. Teams in the Championship would not spend tens of millions to bounce back (*cough* Aston Villa *cough*). The relegation battle, which is often more exciting than the race for the title, would become a fascinating war of attrition. Five teams getting promoted from the Championship would give that league greater appeal. Fans in the lower divisions could also start believing that reaching the Premier League could happen.
The idea might seem crazy, but five teams getting relegated every year could lead to a fairer, more sustainable, and more interesting Premier League.