Do you think Premier League footballers get paid too much? Do you think the Premier League is becoming less competitive and more predictable? Do you think there is a growing gap between the few elite teams that battle for honors every season and those teams for whom the very idea of ​​challenging for a trophy is only understandable in their wildest dreams? If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, read on as I present a careful review of the Barclays Premier League and compare its conduct and practices with those of the famous North American competition, the National Hockey League (or simply, the NHL).

The NHL introduced a universal salary cap across the league in 2005. This means that a predetermined figure is announced at the beginning of each new season that dictates a budget that all teams must adhere to. The cap figure changes annually because it is calculated based on the previous season's NHL revenue. The salary cap consists of two main elements, a "ceiling" and a "floor": the ceiling is the name given to the maximum amount that teams can collectively spend on player salaries and must be strictly adhered to, the floor is the name given to the minimum amount that teams must spend on collective wages.

OK, do you have it so far?

The salary cap system was introduced as a way to control potential player salary increases, and as noted, the cap has the ability to fluctuate from year to year depending on the strengths of the NHL's revenue streams. It is argued that it promotes fairness by ensuring that NHL revenues are distributed equally among all teams, which, in theory, at least, provides a level playing field for all teams in the league, from the monumentally wealthy. even the smallest market franchises. Specifically designed to eradicate the notion of a particularly wealthy franchise buying up a team of superstars and leaving others in their wake, this very idea is sure to make fans of Manchester City and Chelsea sick to their stomachs.

So what does all this have to do with football and the Premier League? Good question. In the seven NHL seasons since the introduction of the salary cap, hockey fans have seen seven different teams be crowned Stanley Cup Champions. Compare this to the fact that in the 20-year history of the Premier League only FIVE different teams have won the Championship. It is clear which of these two organizations is marketing a more competitive product.

The idea of ​​a different team winning the Premier League title each season is absolutely unheard of and of course the elite minority would be completely against any such system as it would threaten their status within the game and their ability. to produce periods of sustained success in the field. But something needs to be done to address the growing problem of ever-higher player salaries because the following figures present an unsustainable picture of overspending. Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City spent 114% of their income on player salaries during the 2010-2011 season, and other clubs such as Aston Villa (103%), Chelsea (84%) and Sunderland ( 77%) also spent incredible amounts on player salaries.

For whatever reason, the idea of ​​a competitive and unpredictable Premier League seems to scare people, and various arguments have been used to combat such discourse. Arguments that can easily be overridden when examined. Arguments citing that a salary cap would discourage the world's best players from joining Premier League teams - well, some would argue that the world's best players don't play in the Premier League anyway (none of the three nominees for the World Player of the Year 2012 award currently playing in the Premier League). Furthermore, in recent years there have been constant calls from various sectors of the media suggesting that the increasing number of world-class foreign players joining Premier League teams is hurting the development of local talent and thereby thus, inhibiting the potential of the English team. Do fans want to see a monopolized national league or a successful national team?

The introduction of salary caps will also present perceptions of socialism from the outside, which is widely considered negative in a Western capitalist society. However, American competitions like the NHL and also the NFL currently operate with established salary caps.

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What can the Premier League learn from the NHL?