Woke up this morning, turned on Radio 5, and the announcer says, “The Big 4 are playing today”.
What Big 4 I hear you ask – well no I don’t but you know. There is no Big 4. There never has been a Big 4 during the history of the EPL.
What we had for many years was the Big 2 – Arsenal and Manchester Untidy shared first and second spot for eight years or so. The along came CSKA Fulham and joined in.
Now the point about the Big 3, is that they win the EPL from time to time, they get into the European Champions League each year, they play in domestic Cup Finals quite often, and (most importantly) they have set up a model for a football club that is sustainable.
The so-called “team” that the “pundits” on Radio 5 “Live” add to the Big 3 is “Liverpool Reds” (also known as Liverpool Weetabix, as both firms are owned by the same people.)
This team doesn’t win the EPL and doesn’t have any sort of long term plan – their idea of getting up the league is to buy lots of players without really having the money to do so. The “Tiny Totts from Down the Lane” operate in much the same way.
Arsenal sustain their position through World Wide Scouting. Manchester Untidy do it through World-Wide Marketing and high price buying. CSKA Fulham do it by taking the oil wealth of Russian and instead of spending it on the poor and needy, give it all to one man who spends it on a football team.
Liverpool Weetabix can’t possibly sustain their position because they don’t have any of these approaches – the marketing is about 30% of the size of Manchester Untidy, their scouting is restricted to looking at established players, and their owners put debt into the club, rather than take it out.
So there it is, the Big 3. After that we have the “UEFA 6”, each of whom with a bit of luck might make it into the UEFA Cup, and one of whom with a lot of luck will get into the preliminary rounds of the Champions League where they can play Sparta Hedgehog.
Beyond that there is the “Mid-level 5”, and after that the Relegation 6. The Tiny Totts have done awfully well this year to have crawled out of the Relegation 6 and settled into the obscurity of the Mid-Level 5. I think we should all give them a pat on the head.
All of us.
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