HAS FOREIGN INVESTMENT AND COMMERCIALISATION OF THE PREMIER LEAGUE LED TO A DECLINE IN ENGLAND’S INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this research paper is to critically examine the effect of the creation of the Premier League in 1992 and the impact that this has had on the subsequent performance of the English national team. It will explore the effect of increased migration of professional football players into the UK, from Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa since 1992 and particularly after the Bosman ruling in 1995. It will also include an analysis of foreign investment and ownership in the Premier League, the impact of increasing numbers of foreign players in the Premier League, the commercialisation of the league through satellite media broadcasters and weighing up the effect of these issues against the performance of the English national team to date. This question is analysed using the theoretical approach, from secondary data and previous research on the topic in order to provide a structured, clear analysis into the subject. It will use articles written by football academics and economists, previous players, managers and experts in order to utilise a wide range of sources to reach a conclusion. It is undoubtedly true that the Premier League has established itself as the most well-known brand in world football. It is also true that England’s performance in recent World Cups and European Championships have been well below expectations given the historic position of England in world football since the Second World War. Whilst money has flooded into the Premier League from foreign owners and media companies, the priority in spending for the clubs has been to buy in skill and experience from abroad, rather than develop the skills of young English players. This has been necessary at each club within the Premier League given the lucrative attraction of Champions League and Europa League for the top teams, and the threat of relegation for the lesser teams. Perversely, the relative success of Premier League clubs in European competitions in recent years may have subsequently increased expectations of England fans and the media on the achievement of the national team in major tournaments. This situation does not bode well for the development of young English players and this together with the successful development of Premier League academy players progressing to the England national team will be assessed.
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