Mr. C is hoping this this is the year that the Premiership gets back to the good ol’ days.
When Sir Alan Sugar bought Jurgen Klinsmann to Tottenham in the summer of 1994, few could have foreseen the impact the signing would make to the English game. The floodgates were now open and in the forthcoming years we would witness some of the biggest names in world football clamouring to be involved in what I personally consider the best and most exciting league on the planet.
There were many cynics at the time who deemed that the Premiership was fast becoming the graveyard for high-profile players looking for a last big pay day and while you can certainly find the odd example like George Weah, you can hardly claim the likes of Klinsmann, Zola, Vialli, Desailly or Gullit didnâ€™t bring something to the English game.
They galvanised their team-mates and made them better players; look what Klinsmann did in turning Teddy Sheringham from an above average striker to a seasoned international!
Their presence bought credibility back to a league which had fallen way behind Serie A and La Liga in the wake of Heysel and it needed a kiss of life to regenerate an English game which was fast becoming stale and judging by the falling attendances was hardly living up to Skyâ€™s claim that they were investing in the best league in the world.
Much has been documented over the years about the influx of foreign players to the English game and the impact they have had in certain quarters. Donâ€™t get me wrong. I am not one of those people who advocate the Arsenal approach of fielding 11 foreigners on a Saturday but at the same time I donâ€™t go with those people that think that their presence in the game is the reason that the national side is struggling.
If you gave me the England side of 1994 against the current national side, I know who I would put my money on. The foreign players have raised the standard of English players to a higher level.
The Premiership, as we know, has moved on a great deal in the last 13 years and our performances in the CL in the past few years signify that we have well and truly bridged the gap with the other top leagues. The problem is that we have a top four that has been completely monopolised and as a result we as a championship are not as competitive. The rich clubs got richer and as a result it would be hard to argue that the Premiership table hasnâ€™t resembled a glorified Scottish Premier League.
The reason I bring up 1994 is that in my opinion it was the start of a six-yer period when the Premiership was at its very best; highly competitive, fantastic matches and the top six wasnâ€™t monopolised. The influx of foreigners was just a part of what made up the excitement of those Premiership years. In truth, it has become rather dull of late; the millennium years have been devoid of excitement but I firmly believe that, with the new Sky deal in place, things are about to change.
The Premiership has never been as strong as an institution. It is the most televised league in the world, stadia are full and as recent events in the transfer market have shown, the best young talent in the world now want to ply their trade in England. The new Sky deal has meant that each club will receive an extra Â£50m in revenue, which in most cases will be set aside for new signings. So the transfer market is wide open.
It gives a wonderful opportunity for the likes of Tottenham, Everton, Newcastle and Aston Villa, who havenâ€™t received the great revenues that are part and parcel of regular CL qualification, to financially be able to compete at the top end of the transfer market and bridge the divide that currently divides the top four and the rest of the Premiership.
The cynics will claim that money doesnâ€™t guarantee success and itâ€™s true that the money has to be spent wisely, which could be the reason for the stand-off some clubs are taking in the market. But, trust me, it is the calm before the eventual transfer storm; clubs are financially secure so where is the need to sit on this money?
It has reached the stage where clubs need to wake up to the cold reality that since 1995 the current top four have been responsible for winning every Premiership title and FA Cup. And more often than not they have played each other in the finals.
This dominance has to stop and clubs wonâ€™t have a better chance to change the order of things than this summer. Itâ€™s as even a playing field in the transfer market as it has been for a decade and itâ€™s time for clubs to stand up be counted rather than continually failing their own supporters, who want to see their side compete with the best. Tottenham have taken the lead with their 30 million plus outlay and we know the rest of the non-Big Four have plenty of TV dosh to spend as well.
I pose the question; will this be the season when the Premiership returns to the good old days? Will the monopoly that is the top four be finally be breached? I think itâ€™s time to strap yourself in.
I believe the Premiership is finally about to take off!