13 games left in a 38 game season and the Premier League is over. Manchester City are champions with a 15-point lead over second place Manchester United.
16 games left in a 38 game season and La Liga is done. Barcelona lead second place Atletico Mardrid by 11 points and have a 19 point, yes 19 POINT, lead over arch rival and perennial powerhouse Real Madrid.
14 games left in a 34 game season and the Bundesliga champion has been determined. Bayern Munich lead second place Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen by 16 points!
Oh yes, Ligue Un. Closer with Paris Saint Germain leading Marseille by 8 points with 15 games left. Realistically, there is no way in hell that PSG doesn’t win the title.
The Serie A sees Napoli trying to grasp the title from Juventus’ grip and they lead by one point in the standings. If Napoli wins the title it will be the first time in six seasons that someone other than Juventus will have won the Serie A.
In addition, we’ve seen the same two teams compete for the MLS Cup in the past two finals, Toronto and Seattle.
How did we get to the point where a Championship season is so mundane and predictable. The entertainment from game to game is engrossing and the controversy still renders debate but the actual competition within leagues has become too obvious to truly enjoy the spectacle. Other than the Premier League, we could have easily predicted the Champions of all other leagues listed.
As Pink Floyd sang best, Money. To the ultimate detriment of football is the billionaire owners and the hundred-million pound players being sold like commodities. It’s a pity that only, maybe, once in a lifetime will we see a Leicester City story as those Cinderella runs are what truly grow the game and generate an unfamiliar following of the beautiful game. The repetition of similar Champions will ultimately hinder the games progression. When you throw in Video Assistant Referees who will eliminate the majority of error in the game, what are you going to really get passionate about down the local pub?
Jim: What a great match. 1-0 to the Arsenal. Get In!
John: Yes, you beat my Spurs fair and square Jim. No complaints. The tackle in the box was a penaty, VAR said so.
Jim: Better luck next time John.
John: Thanks Jim. You deserve today. Enjoy your evening. See you at the next North London Derby.
WTF! This is what it may come to folks. No controversy, no banter, no anger, no passion - unfortunate.
The only club with money that I can say has captured the imagination of a country is Manchester City. Pep Guardiola has his squad paying more beautiful football than his great Barcelona teams of 2010-2015. Guardiola often fields a team consisting of Kyle Walker at right back, Fabian Delph at left back and John Stones at centre-back – almost a full English back-line consisting of players that have never been rated as World class. He also has a Chelsea outcast in Kevin De Bruyne as his main man and possibly the best player in World football right now. Guardiola has gotten the best out of underachiever Raheem Sterling. It’s truly phenomenal what a masterpiece he's created with his squad and certain players in particular. He will, in no uncertain terms, go down as the greatest manager of all time once he retires.
Nonetheless, football has hit a point where it truly is a product. Sold to the highest bidder and loyalty is non-existent. Nothing will change it's trajectory so my hope is that billionaires buy all of the teams in top divisions and play poker in the private room with players as cards. Sadly, the loyalty of a John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Ryan Giggs or Tony Adams will never be seen again because they'll go where the buck drops.
Money talks my friends, money talks.