Well it was certainly a high quality final day to the Premier League season on Sunday. In the battle at the top for European Championship qualification, we had superb teams in action, excellent individual displays and perhaps above all, plenty of really great goals.
Then down at the bottom almost everything relegation-wise went as expected since we knew the condemned three in advance. I have to say though it was a surprise, for me at least, that Hull City were relegated. But, to be honest, as is so often the case, it’s not what happens on the last day when the damage is done. That occurs earlier in the season when games which should be won are drawn and some which should be drawn are lost. The fact is, the last day of the Premier League was devoid of surprise since almost everything involving the top and bottom of the table went pretty much as expected and as I said I believed it would last week.
The top two, Chelsea and Tottenham, had been home and dry for a while and of the two following them, Manchester City already had a three point advantage over fifth placed Arsenal and a much better goal difference, while Liverpool, admittedly with only a single point advantage over the Gunners and a slightly better goal difference and appeared to have a slightly easier final game at Watford, who were already safe from any relegation fear. Arsenal faced the sometimes unpredictable Everton at the Emirates.
So, as I expected, all the top five won and so the table stayed the same. There were some stunning performances from all five though, particularly from Spurs who went to Hull City and really turned on the power and style to destroy the home team 1-7 with the very much in-form Harry Kane scoring a superb hat-trick. In fact, as it turned out Hull would have gone down whatever result they achieved.
Poor Watford felt the full power and style of Manchester City who beat them at home 0-5. As we have seen before this season, when City turn it on there are few teams who can live with them. Such a comprehensive victory away from home was certainly a fine way to clinch their European Champions League place.
The only team which could have upset the fairly established status quo at the top was Arsenal. Sadly for them, in spite of their excellent 3-1 win over Everton, with just ten men for most of the match, it was a case of too little, too late. Laurent Koscielny was sent off soon after the game started for an unnecessary flying tackle on Valencia. But Artsenal played very well and by ending on 75 points they achieved more than last season when they finished second with fewer points. However, in spite of a reasonable final run of results at the end of the season, the damage had been done weeks previously by virtue of their nine defeats, which is more than any other side in the top six.
Meanwhile, down at the bottom it was a similar foregone conclusion with the Hull, Middlesbrough and Sunderland all going into their final day as Premier League clubs already preparing for life in the Championship. Some people believe that with their fate settled and so the stress and tension of fighting for survival over, teams will be more likely to play relaxed, creative football. No sign of that, I’m afraid with these three. Between them they conceded 15 goals while scoring just two…..one by Sunderland at Chelsea and another by Hull at home in reply to Spurs’ seven!
Irrespective of the last day’s results and the final positions in the League, all clubs have earned an astonishing amount of money, just by being in the Premier League.
Chelsea are the biggest earners with a total Premier League income of £153.2 million pounds sterling. This is perhaps understandable since they are top and have appeared on TV in the UK 28 times. Their cash bonanza came from £30.4 million TV games fees, £38.4m League place money and the £84.4m fixed equal share for every club in the League.
Bottom placed Sunderland received £99.9 million pounds sterling as a result of their low (comparatively) place money of £1.9 million, couple with them being selected to appear on TV only 8 times and so restricting that income to £13.6 million. They still get their £84.4M fixed equal share for finishing last.
The way it all breaks down is that the club finishing bottom gets about 1.92 million pounds and then each team above them gets £1.92 million more per position above them. Each club receives at least approximately £13.6 million pounds in TV money which increases depending on the number of time they are on TV. This rises to £31.4 million for Liverpool who had 29 games on TV.
With the Premier League’s income from TV rights, both in the UK and around the world, continuing to increase to even more astronomical figures it looks a sure thing that the rich clubs will continue to get richer, players wages will continue to skyrocket, managers will be paid more money still….even when they fail, as most do in the end….. and ticket prices will keep increasing.
The latest round of media-rights negotiations for the Premier League means an increase of almost 50% from sports broadcasters outside the UK. This has been helped by the global growth of pay-television, for which sport is a vital ingredient.
Now the Premier League stands to earn in global money terms, at least $1.732bn US Dollars per season from international rights in the new deal. It has agreed 41 deals covering most of the world and is in advanced talks to sell its rights in Canada and Russia, which in the previous deal were together worth just under $20m per season.
These international deals follow the Premier League’s record-breaking domestic media-rights auction last year, when UK pay-television broadcasters BT and BSkyB paid a total of £1.712bn ($2.26bn) per season for the 2016-19 period. When deals with the BBCTV for highlights, and several other ancillary packages, are included the Premier League earns £1.807bn per season from its UK rights alone.
Rights revenues have soared in Europe, the Americas, and sub-Saharan Africa, and also earned increases in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa.
The Premier League has signed its richest TV deal outside the UK, cashing in on the boom in the sport in China by signing a three-year deal worth $700m (£564m).
Asia-Pacific remains the league’s most valuable overseas region, contributing $577.5m per season. Revenue growth slowed compared to the previous sales cycle, increasing by about 14 per cent compared to about 68 per cent last cycle.
I thought you may be interested to know that the UK media has reported that our own SuperSport is understood to have paid an increase of about 30 per cent to retain its English Premier League rights in sub-Saharan Africa, beating competition from Econet and StarTimes to win in the first round of bidding.
On the subject of big money, let’s look at this week’s best bets…I am going for Man utd to beat Ajax, Chelsea to beat Arsenal in the FA cup, Reading To beat Huddersfield in the Championship play-off, and Juventus to beat Real Madrid in the Euro Championship Final.
Next week we’ll talk about next season, which players have performed well this time and who are likely to be on their way to pastures new.