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Mr Ricochet

Premier League's bourgeoning middle class

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Mr Ricochet

ESPN/Richard Jolly Link

 

The best should find the rest presenting an ever stiffer challenge. The Premier League may no longer host the world's outstanding teams -- Spain and Germany, who provided all four Champions League semi-finalists, share that distinction -- but its calling card now includes an unrivalled strength in depth. Even the weakest are now stronger.

 

The division's collective bargaining for television rights and more equitable distribution of them means a £5.5 billion, three-year deal is benefiting all. There is a sudden injection of quality across the board but the impact is felt most by those who had least until now. They have a competitive advantage; not against each other, armed with similar funds, but against foreign rivals.

 

And so it is that much of the money -- including 78% of the expenditure in this transfer window -- is spent abroad and that more successful Serie A and La Liga countries, playing in countries mired in economic difficulties and without the same financial backing, have found themselves prone to Premier League predators, often unlikely ones.

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