'I'm afraid the game is going to die' - Is the Premier League killing European football?

Premier League Death of football GFXGOAL

In a way, you've got to admire Andrea Agnelli. It takes some neck to get up on stage and criticise the way in which European football is run, while at the same time being forced to resign as Juventus president because of a criminal investigation into the club's financial affairs.

"European football needs a new system," he said in his farewell speech. "Otherwise, it risks a decrease in favour of a single dominant league which within a few years will attract all the talent of European football within its league, completely marginalising the other leagues and the others are already marginalised."

Agnelli was, of course, referring to the Premier League, and, in fairness to him, he may have had a point in relation to the potentially harmful effects of its economic might.

Just a day after Agnelli formally stood down, Deloitte published its latest Football Money League, its annual ranking of clubs by revenue, and the staggering scale of English dominance was laid bare.

For the first time ever, more than half of the clubs (11 of 20) come from the same country, while 80 percent of the Premier League's current members are represented in the top 30.

The presence of Leeds United perhaps best illustrates the power of England's top flight. They were in the Championship as recently as 2020, and haven't competed in European competition for 20 years, and yet sit 18th, above Champions League regulars like Benfica and Ajax.

How? TV rights. In particular, international TV rights, the value of which have risen by €422 million per season (an increase of 26 per cent for the 2022-23 to 2024-25 cycle when compared to the 2019-20 to 2021/22 cycle).

"The domestic market has remained fairly flat," Deloitte's Chris Wood tells GOAL. "But the Premier League is earning more than double from international TV than any of the other 'Big Five' leagues.

"What they've done over the past 30 years is cultivate a brand that really resonates across not only the domestic market, but also the international market. The other big five are struggling to replicate that.

"Consequently, during the last decade or so, the Premier League clubs have pulled away from all of their European rivals in terms of revenue."

The question now, then, is how the rest of Europe closes that gap? Or, perhaps more accurately, whether that's even possible?