English Premier League 2013-14: Should we bother playing, or just see who can open their wallet widest?

Twenty teams kicked off in the English Premier League’s 22nd season last weekend, but only a handful of them have a realistic chance of finishing on top of the pile next May. The reason? In a league without a salary cap, some clubs have piles of Russian / American / Emarati cash to spend on players. Others get headlines like this.

In the race to keep up with the foreign big spenders, smaller clubs made some risky choices and ended up trying to overcome their debts by taking leftover merchandise to Cash Converters. The upshot of it all is a whole range of new restrictions on club spending.

These mechanisms appear intended to prevent teams from going out of business rather than produce competitive parity; if they end up doing a little of both, that would be just fine with UEFA – and many might share UEFA’s feelings, given the strong correlation between wage spending and accumulation of premiership points in the EPL. Continue reading