Monday, October 03, 2016

The Rise & Fall of English Football

The English Premier League has become a global brand. The result is that the EPL earns over £1 billion a year from overseas television rights. It also makes over a £1.7 billion a year from domestic television rights.

A lot of this money is shared between the 19 teams in the league. The teams supplement this income from the prize money they win from their finishing positions in the league each season, from ticket sales to fans, from sponsorship deals and from the selling of branded products.

Teams in the EPL are therefore very, very rich. This means that they can afford to buy some of the best players from around the world. In 1992 the EPL made just £7.6 million a year in overseas television rights. Therefore in 1992 while EPL teams were relatively well off they could not afford the huge transfer fees and player wages that they pay as a matter of routine now.

In 1992 there were far fewer famous overseas players playing in the EPL than there are now. In fact there were 40% more English players playing in the EPL in 1992 compared to 2016.

The Reckless Agency has plotted this growth in overseas players in the EPL by mapping the birthplaces of EPL players for the 1992 and 2016 seasons. The Premier League Player Birthplaces map includes a slide panel which allows you to switch between a map of the birthplaces of the players in 1992 and the birthplaces of the players in this season's EPL. Switching between the maps of the two seasons you can instantly see the huge fall in homegrown players in the EPL and the rise of overseas players.

Many English football pundits have questioned whether the rise in numbers of overseas players in the EPL has contributed to the decline of the national team. With fewer English players gaining experience playing in the EPL the national football team has a smaller pool of talent from which to draw. Other pundits have pointed out that the England football team were rubbish for years before the birth of the English Premier League.

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