Football Sport

Is it important to have title competition in domestic leagues?

Rangers FC domestic league
Rangers FC: The Scottish club recently won their 55th title. Source: Valentin B (via Flickr)
Last weekend, Scottish giants Rangers F.C. won their 55th league title, ending a decade of being second-best to fellow Scots Celtic F.C

By Adam Brown | Sport Editor

Earlier this month, Scottish giants Rangers F.C. won their 55th league title, ending a decade of being second best to fellow Scottish giants Celtic F.C. Large herds of fans surrounded the entrance to the stadium this weekend to welcome and support their team on what would be their title-winning weekend, depending on the result Celtic were to get away to Dundee United, that game ending in a frustrating 0-0 draw, whilst Rangers cruised to victory in a comfortable 3-0 win over St. Mirren.

A common question that is asked, does one team domination actually damage football overall? Especially when analysing the recent events of the SPL, witnessing Celtic dominate for the best part of a decade.

Looking from a vague standpoint, the answer could be given in a range of ways. To elaborate, when seeing a team consistently dominate such as Manchester City this season, it can seem that other teams’ season are already over, as their targets for the year start to seem more, and more unrealistic to what they originally seemed. On the other hand, each team have their own, minimised, individual battles. Teams at the beginning of the season set their own personal targets, whether that is to challenge for a title, aim for cup success, finish in the top half of the league table, or even to avoid relegation. Achieving any those for some teams can be seen as a strong, successful, and rewarding season. In reality, success can come from outside the league also.

There are evident arguments to both sides, being that one team domination does and doesn’t have a harmful effect on football as a whole. A reason to why it doesn’t damage football as a whole is that domination always comes to an end eventually.

As we have seen this season, current Premier League champions, Liverpool F.C, are currently 8th in the league table, trailing league leaders, Manchester City, by a stunning 22 points. This being a huge shock for footballing fans, especially due to the sheer dominance that was displayed by the league champions last season. This is a strong case of ‘dominance doesn’t last forever’, giving teams that are competing for the same position a huge boost in confidence and motivation.Another reason, is that dominant sides can bring a solid stream of income to those who lack financial support, comfortably selling out the smaller stadiums in a very short period of time, filling the stadium with fans.

What can be a hurtful truth about dominance of a team, is that those teams who are trailing can begin to lose vital players who are the core of that team but wish to move on and strive for success. A strong example of this, is Welshman Gareth Bale, who moved for a world record transfer fee back in 2013 from North London side, Tottenham Hotspur, to Spanish giants, Real Madrid. Bale went on to win nearly everything that could be won whilst playing for the Spanish side, winning a total of 16 trophies, including 2 league titles and 4 Champions Leagues. When Bale left the London side, it was evident the following season that the non-existent presence of the Welsh international left a huge dent in the premier league side.

In this day and age, I think the existence of ‘domination’ in football will become more accepted as time progresses. There are aspects to certain clubs that allow their dominance to proceed, such as the financial welfare of the club, that can give a club a strong advantage over their peers. There has been a clear correlation between the clubs who have been successful, with money, and those who haven’t, without the financial backing over the last decade. Over time, more teams are going to be more, and more financially funded by incredibly wealthy people. These wealthy people are also now beginning to invest in lower rated sides, could that mean that lower placed sides start to compete with teams that have been at the top for years?

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