DELOITTE this week released their latest list of the world’s richest clubs and English clubs continue their monopoly with eleven of the world’s richest 20 football clubs playing in the EPL.
The trend is now seemingly irreversible and it’s apparent that not only is the gap widening despite the valiant efforts of the other leagues, but it’s doing so at an increasing and alarming rate.
No one can deny the massive international appeal and interest in the EPL, but the concern as voiced earlier on the same day by outgoing Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli is that it won’t be long before the EPL is strong enough to act alone in attracting all the best football talent leading to a drastic decline in the quality and appeal and eventually the sustainability of the other European leagues.
He is not wrong in his assessment and it’s therefore not only unsurprising, but also entirely expected that Agnelli’s Juventus are still attempting behind the scenes to get a European Super League up and running.
His team were this season eliminated in the group stages of the Champions League further depleting their coffers and his comments came after a 5-1 mauling at the hands of Napoli.
Napoli meanwhile are like a breath of fresh air in this football world of obscene money and currently don’t even make Deloitte’s top 30 richest clubs.
Incidentally this places them in the money league, way below the likes of Brighton, Wolves, Crystal Palace and even the last placed EPL side Southampton!
As they approached the start of this season with their funds still lagging way behind pre Covid levels, Napoli were forced to let go of a number of their experienced expensive veterans and literally started the season from scratch and without the nucleus that had got them agonizingly close to the coveted title in 2016 and 2018.
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Manager Luciano Spalletti though has dumbfounded his critics by putting together a side largely made up of unknowns ably backed by an unpolished African gem in Victor Osimhen.
Aside from the irresistible Mbappe and the unstoppable Haaland, I believe that there is no finer striking talent anywhere in the world and it’s only a matter of time before he’s on the books of a super-rich EPL club.
I see Osimhen as potentially the greatest African superstar ever with the skill set and physical attributes to outdo all the African legends of yesteryear.
With the constant ever persistent rumblings of Mbappe moving to Real Madrid, Osimhen would be the ideal candidate to replace him in Paris and forge his own partnership with Messi, devoid of Mbappe’s infused petulance. On the other hand should Mbappe still play hardball with Real, a Madrid side clearly in need of a new model to replace their Benz, should look no further.
Teaming Osimhen with Vinicius upfront would signal only one realistic outcome and that is V for Victory for Madrid.
At Napoli this season, Osimhen has been at the forefront of a Napoli side that have destroyed all in their path, both in Italy and in Europe. His partnership with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (also known as Kvaradona) has worked like a dream(reminiscent to old Neapolitans of Diego Maradona and Careca) with the Georgian being both a provider as well as a foil for the Nigerian and in tandem, no team has been able to contain the dynamic duo.
The net effect has been a dynamic driven side who show no signs of letting up.
It has had the consequence of Naples and it’s surrounds in dreamland, in nirvana and dreaming of a first title since their success in 1989 when the late departed and always fondly remembered Diego Maradona hoisted the trophy.
Since those heady starry mesmerizing Maradona mania days, soccer mad Naples has been forced to rely on the memories, unable to replicate the success.
A Victor Osimhen-inspired title victory this year would therefore lift the Nigerian Osimhen to an altogether different plane granting him unequalled lofty status previously unattainable by an African in Naples or anywhere in Europe or the rest of the world for that matter.
In 1989 when Diego Maradona did the unthinkable and lifted the unfashionable small time Napoli to the title ahead of their hated Northern rivals, more new born baby boys in Naples were named Diego in the year that followed than all other names combined.
I surmise that a victory this year may have a similar effect with Victor being the preferred new baby name.
I also have a hunch that perhaps his success may have a profound effect on race relations and literally overnight increase the mixed race population in the city!
Napoli look like the real deal with an insurmountable lead at this stage.
Certainly, Juventus will not be able to claw back that lead after they were docked 15 points by the Italian Federation on Friday for false accounting.
It was a busy week for the club which saw a new chairman and board installed as a consequence of the above misdemeanours as well as a week when they bid a tearful farewell to one of their own in Gianluca Vialli who was laid to rest after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Vialli, who was also a crowd favourite at Chelsea was an extraordinary footballer and an even more extraordinary personality, loved by all.
May his dear soul rest in peace.
Till the next time folks, I leave you with this…..Chelsea have proven in this transfer period alone that they will not hesitate to pay over the top for whoever they choose to bring in.
Is Ukrainian treasure Mykhailo Mudryk really worth GBP 89 million?
Meanwhile they have brought in Joao Felix for a few months on loan for a staggering GBP 9 million!
And there are still more days of the January transfer window and that means more Chelsea madness is on the way!
Manchester City meanwhile after their dip and slip against Manchester United which yours truly correctly predicted and who were also mighty lucky against Spurs, now find themselves some distance behind Arsenal and I believe will surely fail in their title quest this season.
As a consequence, in addition to axing Guardiola, I expect that Manchester City will go an an unprecedented buying bonanza as they refresh and overhaul their side.
Newcastle, United on the back of a successful first year under new Saudi owners, will also believe that their apprenticeship period is over and that they can start throwing their real petro dollars at interested parties.
Manchester United and Liverpool (with new owners possibly waiting in the wings)will also not want to be in their shadows chasing the pack and will flash their cheque books too!
I could list almost every other EPL club who will spare nothing in their endeavors to bring survival and success to their clubs.
Meanwhile, the rest of Europe will just look on with scorn and envy.
Like Agnelli, I too believe that things are now totally out of hand and that the Premiership is the big boy calling all the shots to the detriment of the rest of Europe.
I don’t expect them to take this lightly nor do I blame them for voicing their real concerns.
The EPL is already a Super League in all but name.
The other big brands of Europe such as Juventus, Real and Barca can either stand by and watch as their influence wanes or they can come up with a plan to save their Macon.
I know what I’d do if I was in their shoes! Watch this space…
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