Every third day this summer, a big-name player or a big-time prospect would sign for an unexpected team in England, and the move would be accompanied by the same idea: We don’t need a Super League because the Premier League is already the Super League.
I mean… OK, yes, it’s true: I too have been saying this for years. The Premier League is, by far, the richest league in the world. English clubs spent a record $2.2 billion in the summer transfer window — more than the teams in Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga combined. And while the off-field economic advantage has slowly and eventually become an on-field competitive advantage, it hasn’t really hurt the continental superclubs — at least not yet.
We’re still only a couple of years removed from a near-decade-long stretch where it seemed like only Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Juventus could win the Champions League at the beginning of every season. And according to 2021 financial data from Off the Pitch, Barcelona paid the second-highest wages of any club in Europe; Real Madrid were third, Bayern Munich were sixth and Juventus were ninth. In first? Not any English clubs, but Paris Saint-Germain.
With a couple weeks off for international play, let’s check in on the state of the superclubs.