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Pursuits | By Jim White | September Issue

The Premier League: Swamped by cash?

This season, the Premier League reaches its 25th birthday. You may have noticed the landmark; this is not a competition shy of self-aggrandisement. Everywhere you look, its arrival at the quarter-century has been shouted from the rooftops. If you want an idea of how the Premier League has changed the nature of football in this country, here is a statistic. In 1992, when Manchester United and Sheffield Wednesday were both founder members of the competition, United’s annual turnover was roughly twice that of the Yorkshire club. Twenty-five years on, and Wednesday, after spending most of the intervening time outside the gilded, cash-generating elite, following their relegation in 2000, last year turned over £22 million. United, in the same period, declared revenues of £570 million. Which is roughly 25 times more than their Yorkshire counterparts. As the money has concentrated ever more on those at the top, United have grown into...

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