Thursday, December 23, 2010

Spanish La Liga, has it become too uncompetitive?

During the Christmas break we take time to evaluate how each of the several leagues across Europe and the world have faired both competitively and financially. The first league we take a look at is Spain's premier league the La Liga. The La Liga is rated by FIFA as the second most successful league in the world after the English Premier League. However, in recent times the league has come under much pressure to offer something new both in terms of marketing and football.

One of the biggest problems in the La Liga is that the league has seemingly divided itself - overtime - into four different tiers.
One tier is played between Barcelona and Real Madrid to win the title.
Just under them is the second tier which consists of Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Valencia and Villarreal, fighting for places in the champions league and the Europa league.
The third tier varies, but usually consists of teams like Atletico Bilbao, Espanyol, Getafe and Deportivo la Coruna, who are quite happy to stay out of trouble, but still play to achieve that elusive Europa League spot.
The fourth tier, of course is that between the teams trying to avoid relegation. Although the quality of the teams do not match those in the "first tier" the competition between these teams is quite exhilarating especially towards the end of the season.

These "tiers" or leagues are divided greatly by the level of football acustomed to each of the clubs. One big example of this was the recent match between Real Madrid and Levante - a team just sitting above relegation-  in the Spanish Cup , the 8-0 victory to Madrid including two hattricks to both Benzema and Ronaldo shows the difference in footballing ability between the two clubs. 
The fact that Madrid and Barcelona are always increasing the gap between all the tiers below them - mainly for money. Shows that the La Liga is bound to become more uncompetitive unless the influence of lesser known clubs becomes greater. Through both transfers and media publicity. Although everything is possible with newly promoted club Hercules putting up stiff challenges against Barcelona (1-0 Victory) and Real Madrid.

By Isidoro Munoz Mendoza our Spanish Correspondant
(Born in the Bernabeu) - Facebook follower