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What is the world’s “best” league?

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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A new report into the strength of the top football leagues claims Germany’s Bundesliga is “the greatest league in the world”. Spain’s La Liga comes second while the Premier League manages third place.

The Greatest Football League Report says it is “the first in-depth analysis of its kind” and comes one week after Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund trounced Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Champions League first leg semis. The second legs take place this week.

The report measures each league against a set of five criteria; revenue, quality of player, competitiveness, audience levels, and finally, the success of each country’s team in continental competition, as well as the performance of the country’s national team.

The Bundesliga is the best attended league and second biggest league in terms of average revenue per club at €92.4m. Report author and former City investment analyst John Hughes says the Bundesliga also offers “great value for money”.

Value for money

“The Bundesliga has been growing in popularity over the last few years, and is beginning to make a concerted challenge on the European front. Teams in the Bundesliga are extremely well followed, and the accessibility of ticket prices makes the German elite division great value for money,” says Hughes.

“The Spanish model benefits heavily from a wonderful national team and the football club behemoths of Barcelona and Real Madrid. However, underneath these two clubs the gap is increasing year on year making the competition a genuine two horse race.

“An unbalanced broadcast model has polarised the league’s finances and exacerbated the gap between the elite teams and their competitors. The economic hardships of the country has impacted on attendances and caused rises in ticket prices.”

Most watched

While the Greatest Football League Report says the Premier League is “the most watched, most talked about league” from a global perspective, things might not be quite so rosy for match-going fans with a “product that does not offer the spectator great value for money” thanks to high ticket prices.

“The financial robustness of the Premier League allows for some of the best players from all over the world to call England their home. However, a league saturated with foreign talent and awash with riches is untrusting of its youth development, which stunts the potential growth of England’s national side,” says Hughes.

The Greatest Football League Report says it is set to become “an annual barometer into the overall quality of world football” and is produced by peer-gaming service,

Thanks to Action Images for the image used in this story.

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