Only three teams have the budget to win the Premier League: Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.
This is the finding of new chart published by football writer Paul Tomkins, explaining why Liverpool will not win the Premier League for the 26th consecutive year this season: it simply does not have the money.
The yellow spots in the graphic below show the winners of each season since the Premier League was founded in 1993.
Tomkins explains that since the 2004 title, and the entrance of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich into English football, the gap between the “über-clubs” and the rest of the league widened, meaning that only a limited cluster of mega-spending teams have a decent chance to win.
It costs £397 million to enter that cluster, the top right corner, which Tomkins calls The Title Zone.
Before 2004, the League was more equal in terms of spending and, although there has always been a club that spent more than others, the gap would not have cut out the majority of the clubs in the competition.
Even last year, when Liverpool ended up runners-up after getting painstakingly close to the title, it was a result beyond expectations: had strikers Suarez or Sturridge picked up an injury, Liverpool would not have anyone else to replace them.
Of course it is always possible that a low-budget club can break through to clinch the title, but it is extremely hard. All three big clubs must have a bad year, and even that could not be enough.
Last year, United had a bad season, and Chelsea underperformed, although the Blues still pulled ahead of Liverpool in the end. As Tomkins puts it:
Think of it like breaking into a high-security bank: you may get past the first security system, if it’s faulty, but your chances of making it past all three diminish with each new challenge.
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