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The Winners And Losers Of The 2012/13 Premier League

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In 1974 Denis Law CBE, probably the only thing we have in common is that CBE, back heeled an 81st minute goal that until Sergio Aguero’s winner against QPR, ranked as my worst feeling in a Manchester City vs Manchester United game.

Law thought he had back heeled us out of the First Division at that time but history shows we would have been relegated anyway. But even then relegation was like being consigned to oblivion, a loser left to fight with the other scrappers for a chance to return to the big time.

Today, with money the motivator, the Championship play-off final is considered to be financially the biggest game on Earth. Which must also mean that, parachute payments apart, the relegated Clubs are the biggest losers because we know every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

So who will be the biggest loser this year when the season is done?

Of the 20 teams I think only 8 teams can consider themselves safe before the season starts, those 8 are Arsenal, United, City, Chelsea, Spurs , Liverpool, Everton and Newcastle.

The rest are in various degree’s of ‘at risk’ of going down.

The names are as follows, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Stoke, Fulham, Wigan, Norwich, QPR, Reading, Southampton, West Ham, West Brom and Swansea.

So picking from that the teams who will occupy some sort of mid-table safety zone I think Villa, Sunderland, Stoke, Fulham and Swansea will do enough to avoid the drop.

That leaves 7 teams fighting for survival Wigan, Norwich, QPR, Reading, Southampton, West Brom and West Ham.

These are all pretty poor teams by English Premier League standards, and perhaps help to make up one of the weakest top flights since the Premier League was formed.

Of the 7, given the money they have, I think QPR will survive 7 places off the bottom.

Below them the experience of West Brom and Wigan will see them safe before the last few games, despite their share of scares along the way. Meaning only one of the last 4 names will escape the drop.

I think West Ham will be that Club, as they have the history and pedigree to find the points to make it. I see little chance of Reading making it, Southampton will be only a point or two above them and Norwich will slide back into the Championship as a gap opens above them. I’d bet the bottom 3 have the lowest combined points total in Premier League history.

I also think the top 4 will have more points combined than ever, as Chelsea, City, United and Arsenal open up a huge gap, Spurs will fall back and Liverpool’s season will again be over by Christmas.

The start of a new season always begins with hope and promise, but this year more than ever the gap between money and not is such that City,and Chelski are spending huge sums to catch PSG, Barcelona and Real Madrid. Only City are in shape to do that and I can see them doing well in Europe to the detriment of their league form. If so we have a chance.

Arsenal have spent wisely, and could also profit from selling Robin van Persie for loads of money after his one good season without injury.

United are 4th in the investment stakes but the legacy of a Champions League winning team will keep them in the hunt to the end, although after Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes retire, Patrice Evra’s continued decline and the last years of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick, the £25m a year Glazer has earmarked for transfers won’t sustain the chase any longer than this year. The only saving grace being that the subsequent decline in share price might end their debt ridden ownership.

So the best league on Earth is now divided into good and bad, rich and poor such that the good news for me is that I don’t expect to see us relegated again in my lifetime not because we are slipping but because the standard below us is so poor that they just cant catch us up. I expect to live a long time yet by the way!

Judge me at the end of the season, or maybe you see a flaw in my logic?

By Steve Burrows CBE @ifollowsteve

5 thoughts on “The Winners And Losers Of The 2012/13 Premier League”

  1. Mmmmm, a bit arrogant, teams like Southampton are not excatly poor for a start, they have the spending power of anyone in the league (maybe not City) and to say Everton are safe shows that your article is a blinkered account of an Utd Fan.

  2. I too think you are underestimating southampton's financial clout without the mindless money chucking thats going on at QPR. Norwich look nailed on for relegation to me and Man city for the league.

  3. Generally poor article, just to dismiss Southampton so easily. Guess you know nothing thats occured on the South coast these past few years (nor care). City will have too much for you again anyway.

  4. Interesting that you refer to a Club that posted a loss of £11m as havin clout. The Club was rescued from administration by a loan which the estate of the former owner has not asked to be repaid, yet. Southampton also spends 93% of its income on wages, when 50% is considered a sustainable limit.
    That means the squad won't be improved and so the team will struggle with no means to remedy that.
    I agree that St Mary's gives them potential for Villa level ticket sales but unless money is found to fund new players they will struggle at the bottom of the league.
    Unless there is a rich benefactor I don't know about ?

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