A Distinct Possibility?

The Chances of all Major Trophies Coming to Manchester

There’s a lot of talk right now about Manchester United possible completing a Quadruple in football. That would require the Red Devils to add the Premier League title, FA Cup, and Europa League to the EFL Cup they won last weekend. It is, most certainly, a longshot, with the Premier League title looking particularly unlikely. However, it’s not outside the realms of possibility, and that makes it decent fodder for the football journalists and social media banter.

Still, while the betting odds would dictate that a United Quadruple is unlikely, it does feel somewhat more possible that all trophies come to Manchester, shared among the Blue half and Red Half of the city. Manchester City, lest we forget, remain the football betting favourites for the Premier League title, even if they are slightly behind Arsenal in the table. In the Champions League, City are also favourites, although we should add that Pep Guardiola’s team has been in that position several times over the last few years and have always finished the season without winning Europe’s most prestigious tournament.

Premier League dominance is clear

Thus, a combination of City winning the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup, or United winning the latter two and Europa League remains possible, if not probable. For the moment, we will leave the discussion of the chances of all of this behind. It is pure speculation and, as mentioned, a fun way for journalists to create a narrative in-between games. However, it should not be overlooked just how important such a possibility is. It tells us that the pendulum of football power has moved to Manchester.

Of course, this is also consistent with the idea that the Premier League itself is becoming stronger, whereas the other ‘top’ European leagues are getting weaker. The recent FIFA awards, crowing the world player of the year (Lionel Messi) and best XI of players, was still dominated by teams like Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, but those clubs are outliers. In the recent January transfer window, Premier League clubs spent £830 million on players, according to research from Deloitte. This was a record, and it was around four times as much as the other Big 4 Leagues – La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, and Bundesliga – combined.

Chelsea have spent more than entire leagues

It goes without saying that the two Manchester Clubs aren’t the only ones in the Premier League with money to spend. Indeed, much of the record spending on players during the 2022/23 season has come on the part of Chelsea, with the Blues shelling out 100s of millions for new recruits. Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, and Newcastle, the latter of whom is technically the richest club in the world given its backing by Saudi Arabia’s investment fund, can all flex their muscles in the transfer market. Even at the lower end of the Premier League table, a team like Wolves or Southampton can spend the type of money that a similarly-placed French or Spanish club could only dream of.

And that, perhaps, is our point. We are now in an era where the strength of the Premier League is growing in the face of waning competition from the continent. Yes, there are specific incidents – Real Madrid recently made a mockery of Liverpool in the Champions League – that suggest continental teams can compete on an even keel, but that’s normal in sport. But when looking at the picture as a whole, the Premier League is becoming more dominant each year.

As we said, it’s not probable that Manchester clubs make a clean sweep of all major trophies, but the fact that it’s possible speaks to both the strength of the two individual teams and the Premier League generally. Perhaps Arsenal will win the Premier League, and a team like Bayern Munich or Real Madrid again wins the Champions League. But if you are a supporter of either Manchester Club, it really is an exicting time. We know at least one trophy has been secured for the city, even if one half won’t like it. How many more will come by the end of the season? .

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