Premier League, still the best or are we being lied to? Part 2

By Walter Broeckx

Part 1 can be read here

If we go back and have a look at the last 10 seasons in the CL we can see that we had the following finals in order as they have been played starting from the season 2004-2005.

Liverpool – AC Milan
Barcelona – Arsenal
Ac Milan – Liverpool
Manchester United – Chelsea
Barcelona – Manchester United
Inter Milan – Bayern Munich
Barcelona – Manchester United
Chelsea – Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich – Borussia Dortmund
Real Madrid – Atletico Madrid

So we see that in the first 5 years we(=PL)  had 6 teams out of 10 finalists. You could say that in those days English football ruled in Europe. We had complete dominance. The PL was the best.

But in the next 5 finals we only had 2 English teams in the CL final. Now how can the best league in the world (according to Scudamore and the media) go from 6 teams in 5 finals to 2 teams in 5 finals?

That really is a very bad return I think.

Let us look at the semi finals.

2004-2005: 2 teams in QF and 2 teams in SF and won the final
2005-2006: 1 team in QF – 1 team in SF and losing the final (I don’t need to remember this…)
2006-2007: 3 teams in QF – 3 teams in SF and losing the final
2007-2008: 4 teams in QF – 3 teams in SF and 2 PL teams in the final
2008-2009: 4 teams in QF – 3 teams in SF and losing the final
2009-2010: 2 teams in QF – 0 teams in SF and of course no PL in the final
2010-2011: 3 teams in QF – 1 team in SF and losing the final
2011-2012: 1 team in QF – 1 team in SF and winning the final
2012-2013: 0 teams in QF – 0 teams in SF and of course no PL in the final (2 teams in 1/8F)
2013-2014: 1 team in QF – 1 team in SF – no PL team in the final

If we put this in a table we see this

PL TEAMS 2 2 1 1
PL TEAMS 1 1 1 1
PL TEAMS 3 3 1 0
PL TEAMS 4 3 2 1
PL TEAMS 4 3 1 0
TOTAL 14 12 6 2
Average 2.8 2.4 1.2 0.4
PL TEAMS 2 0 0 0
PL TEAMS 3 1 1 0
PL TEAMS 1 1 1 1
PL TEAMS 0 0 0 0
PL TEAMS 1 1 0 0
TOTAL 7 3 2 1
AVERAGE 1.4 0.6 0.4 0.2


So in the 5 first  years starting from 2004-2005 we had 14 teams in the Quarter Finals. And that went down to only 7 teams in the QF in the last 5 years! That is only half what the PL did in the earlier years.

If we look at the semi finals we see that in those first 5 years starting from 2004-2005 we had 12 semi finalists from the PL. 12 semi finalists from the 20 teams involved! That is more than half of the semi finalists! But from those 12 semi finalists in that first period we only had 3 semi finalists in the last 5 seasons.

Coming from 12 semi finalists in 5 years to only 3… that is staggering. That is mind blowing. That is 4 times fewer than we had before!

So how can anyone with a sense of perspective still claim that the PL is the best league in the world? Based on this it simply isn’t….any more. It once was. And the media trumpet as if it still is.

But the facts are what they are. The PL has fallen behind other leagues. And what is more is that for the moment as we could see in the first article the PL teams are struggling more and more even when they have to play “dwarf teams” from “dwarf leagues”.

I must admit that even I am tacking aback by these numbers. I confess that I also had been taken in by the party line that declared : the PL is the best league in the world. It isn’t the strongest league in Europe any more so we better be humble and not even talk about the world.

So looking back at the Anderlecht games now I suddenly see another perspective. I notice that I (and I think most of you) didn’t realise that we have been brainwashed by the media. I confess that I thought that Anderlecht would be a piece of cake. Why? Because I never doubted the media words: the PL is the best league in the world.

It simply isn’t any more. But still the media and all concerned will ignore these stats and facts. You will nothing but hear about the PL being the best.

And as usual Untold is the only voice to look behind the slogan. A slogan I admit I liked to hear. And a slogan I wanted to be the truth. Just as I want the PL to have unbiased referees. But the problem is that when we went on the investigation we found that not to be real.

And we are the only voice to talk about the referees. And for the moment we seem to be the only ones who talk about the PL and their downfall.

So what has happened to cause this downfall? Where things might come together that is for the next article.

28 Replies to “Premier League, still the best or are we being lied to? Part 2”

  1. What do u expect from the media……to admit that they have overpaid for a league dats in decline…..the epl started to decline the moment the Fa brought about the Home grown player rule for squad registeration….a lot of teams had to make do with less technical English players cos the had no choice,or if u dont want to have the less technical english men in ur team u or if u cant afford to pay for their overbloated transfer fee,u register less than 25 players.for all the noise being made about Alex Oxlade-Chambrelain….they are both not half the talent mario gotze is or tony kroos….englis football has been in annual decline and everybody knows this.

  2. “Which League is the strongest league?” surely cannot be measured by Champions league entrants. That is answering the question “which league has had the strongest representation in the Champions League”. A different question.

    I dont think you can answer the first question any other way but subjectively. Otherwise how do you compare the relative merits of Stoke City vs Getafe vs Wolfsburg for example? Which surely you have to do if you are comparing leagues.

  3. Sorry for the side note.
    I just realized that in the last few weeks Gary Monk have been complaining that Swansea have not been getting the rub of the green from the referee.
    Surely, this means that they will be getting all the “right” calls” much to our detriment this weekend? Or am I just being a cynic?

  4. If you look at the numbers of teams that the PL-Bundesliga and La Liga have in the Cl it is the same as the PL at the start : 3 certain spots and 1 play off place. So they start on the same level but the last years the PL doesn’t manage to get as many finalists as the Bundesliga or Spanish Liga.

  5. to say which league is the greatest, then we should compare them in the European stage and what I can deduce from the last few years result, Spanish league and bundesliga surpassed the epl.

  6. I would argue that it is HARDER for an English team to be successful in the Champions League due to the high intensity, physicality and competitiveness of the PL. That does not mean it is the best.

    So when comparing leagues a degree of weighting has to be applied.

  7. Chief Tony, good afternoon Sir. Yes, I can read the important points you have inferred on poor, questionable and controversial decissions being exibited by some referees that have refereed in the Premier League, FA Cup, Capital One Cup, Uefa Champions League, Europa League, European Championship, Afcon Copetitions and the World Cup games. This referee malaise has reduced the game to a mockery. Fifa, Uefa, The FA and CAF have all appeared to be comfortable with dis shambles called refereeing. They hv collectively refused to take any action that will arrest this ugly trends. This refusal by the football authorities to bury this bug into the mud, has Consequently made the football fans world wide to opined that there is match fixing in football games. The English FA being the first in the world that regulated the game and gave it to d rest of the world, are more guilty for not taking any action on this refereering malaise. Which could eventually be emulated by the rest of the football authorities in the world.

  8. It seem lazy journalists are using untold as their information check the mirror news paper this morning on the best league

  9. @Walter,

    Interesting findings, but not surprised since we all know what happened in 2009 to begin the downfall of the PL! I don’t believe in coincidences!

    Even Mr. Wenger apparently taking a dig at the officiating today. Saying he doesn’t know what the 5th officials do, they should at least get a chair and a book. LOL

  10. Walter, here is the link from the Daily Mirror – which suggests our league is not the strongest. This article is purely based on the points achieved by the teams from different Nationalities in the Champions League. When you consider they have the Portugese and French leagues above us, you can see how ridiculous this article is. Another perfect bexample of the lazy journalism we seem to get recycled every day:

  11. The reason English clubs may be struggling in the Champions League has nothing whatsoever to do with our league not being that good. It is the opposite. It is because the Premier League is so physical, intense and competitive. Technically, the other leagues are superior as we still believe in neanderthal football and promote braun over skill. The best players are usually the foreign players, we all know this.

    So the Premier League is the most competitive and most intense league and takes more out of the players. I wouldm say it is easily the most demanding league. But it is not the ‘best’ in terms of quality.

  12. The Islington Tribune are running an article about Arsenal and the Living Wage.

    The South Wales Evening Post seems to think reporting that Swansea is seeing odds of 8:1 to have a player sent off is interesting. I would rather have good football and a fair officiating team. I suppose tomorrow Andrew will tell us about Phil Dowd and company.

    Most news outlets seem to be running stories about Wenger “slamming” various players for this, that and the other things. Oh, and they also ramble on about how wonderful a manager Merson would be.

    Hopefully Chelsea is asleep at the wheel Saturday morning, and they beat Chelsea (1-0). I guess I’ll find out in a week or so.

    Good luck Gunners.

  13. @Jerry,
    I could tell him what the 5th official could do.
    Control the clock so that time wasting would disappear and those attending supporters would watch 90 minutes of play and not the 60 odd at most, at present. After all, they pay enough now for their tickets.

  14. Being English I don’t care if the Premier League is the best in the world or not, it’s my league so I will always follow it no matter what. I’ve been watching it since the 80s and never once I thought, my God the xxxxxx league is better than ours we need to do something about it. Have no real passion for the other leagues but have a soft spot for German football. Just to get away from the hype of the Premier league I like to keep it real and follow FC Halifax Town and go when ever I’m in England. Nothing better than standing on terraces.

  15. Walter,

    I posted this comment under the 1st installment of this article:

    “The PL has always been one of the top 4 leagues in the world (in my very humble but not irrefutable opinion). The PL could be described as the best in Europe between 2005 and 2011. English teams dominated the CL during this period producing 2 winners, 5 or 6 finalists (including both in 2008) and once fielding 3 teams in the semi-final.”

    If I didn’t know you better, I’d think you stole my idea 🙂

    Our conclusions are different though. I don’t buy all the diagnostics that are being run about the PL while using successes in the CL (a cup competition) as the overall yardstick. The CL has all the usual attributes of cup competitions chief among which is fluke finalists and winners. We may not have as many flukes as we get in the League and FA cups but the CL produces its fair share. In the last decade, we have:

    – Monaco v Porto in 2004 – these are 2 flukes in the final with Porto nicking it and giving us the myth of Jose Mourhino’s invincibility.

    – Liverpool v AC Milan – with the Scousers coming back from 3 goals down against an Italian team managed by Ancelotti of all people!

    – Bayern Munich V Chelsea – The worst Chelsea team of the Abramovich era BY FAR will be the one to get him his Holy Grail. The only good thing about this final is what it did to Tottenham. What a glorious day!

    The point that I am trying to make here is the same as I did on the earlier article:

    “But this is football and it is very cyclical. In fact, the only thing constant about football is how cyclical teams (clubs and countries) fortunes are even for the regular winners. Brazil won 3 world cups in 4 attempts (over 12 years) and had to wait for 24 years to then win twice in 3 attempts over 8 years. Real Madrid won 3 CL titles between 1998 and 2002 but will have to wait for 12 years to win it again.”

    When teams or countries or clubs from countries under-perform or under-achieve, we tend to carry out random analyses that fit our biases. But the causes are typically very, very complex and sometimes it’s just plain old bad luck. Or extreme good fortune in the case of the flukey winners. Would you seriously use Chelsea’s 2012 win to imply that the PL is the best league that year? Or was the Portuguese league the best in Europe when Porto won in 2004? Were Real Madrid that bad for the 11 years that they went empty handed with no final appearance?

    I think that the PL is without any doubt one of the best 4/5 leagues in the world but the claim of “best league in Europe or the world” is one that no country can claim or should make. I think that being regarded as one of the best should be good enough and the silly jingoism should stop. BUT I am not gaining anything from making the claim; it’s up to Sky, Scudamore and the rest of the people ripping the league off.

  16. Bootoome, you can be sure that the 3 articles were written in one long session and then cut in 3 pieces

  17. Bootoomee,

    Back home 🙂

    Still can’t believe I attended a tupperware evening….. 🙂 🙂 🙂 The things we do for love…. 🙂 🙂 😉 Lucky I have a phone that can go on the internet…

  18. Walter,

    Tell me about it. I am going to miss tomorrow’s clash between Liverpool and Chelsea because the love of my life is dragging out to some social gathering that I would have lied my ass off to escape as a bachelor. I love being married as my wife is a wonderful woman but on occasions like this……well you get it 🙂

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