1) Exodus of elite players
The Premier League is incredibly wealthy and clubs have been splashing the cash as always. What we’ve seen in recent years though is poor money management from a lot of top clubs. Premier League clubs can spend £50 million on a domestic player, who isn’t top class. That is utterly bizarre. We’ve seen an exodus of top players in recent years. Now, how many world class players are there in England? The top level players of recent years such as Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo all left England. Who were they replaced by? Rickie Lambert, Erik Lamela and Antonio Valencia (not quite literally but still). The level has gone down a lot. The league now has attracted players like Mesut Ozil who wasn’t fancied by Real anymore and also Alexis Sanchez and Pedro, not wanted by FC Barcelona. The top level club didn’t want them, so the Premier League picked them up. Eden Hazard is lauded as the cream of the crop but his stats are nowhere near the equivalent’s on the continent (even last season when he was player of the year).
2) Lack of quality domestic players
A lot of top teams abroad such as Bayern Munich and Barcelona have a core of very good domestic players. English clubs do not have that anymore. The world class players in England have gotten older and since left such as John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. There are no English players close to that level anymore. The result is that teams lack a top class spine now, they have to rely on. There isn’t a British Sergio Ramos or Phillip Lahm. British sides are as a result having to buy in all their top players and aren’t doing a very good job of it.
3) Cyclical nature of football
The cyclical nature of football is worth noting here. England was dominant between 2005-12. Italy was once at the top and then suffered gross set-backs. Only in the last five years we’ve really seen German teams be respected as top opposition also. England has gone down but with so much money it’ll likely re-emerge at some point. Spain have kept their power because Barcelona and Real have such a disproportionate share of TV revenue which makes it a lot easier for them to consolidate their power.
4) Rise in wealth of clubs outside of the UK
British clubs were often the wealthiest around and to an extent still are. But the rise of PSG, the wealth of Bayern, Real and Barcelona has meant that they can’t bully their way into buying top players anymore. They now face powerful rivals, who can also buy their stars. No club is saying no to £85 million for Gareth Bale. That wouldn’t be a problem if British clubs weren’t spending badly. Chelsea spent £16 million on Filipe Luis only to sell him back to Atletico the season after for instance. British clubs haven’t brought in any elite players probably since Hazard and Coutinho came along. Both of whom may depart (probably will depart) this summer.