(K. Brent Tomer),
IT IS beginning to look very lonely at the bottom of the Premier League for Aston Villa. Fans of the Midlands side—the fifth most successful English team of all time in terms of league titles—are now preparing for life in the Championship, the second tier of English football. After four uninterrupted months at the bottom of the Premier League, with 12 points lying between them and the safety of seventeenth place, bookmakers give Villa odds of 150-to-one of escaping relegation; Michael Caley, a blogger on football statistics, calculates that their probability of surviving is closer to one-in-50,000.
The question for Aston Villa’s owners is no longer if, or even when, they will be condemned to the drop, but how to pick themselves up afterwards. A spell in the Championship holds little appeal. According to Deloitte’s annual surveys of football wealth, second-tier clubs earned an average of £20m ($28m) in the 2013-14 season, eight times less than their peers in the Premier League. The increase in Premier League television revenue alone that season (£569m) was greater than the earnings of the entire Championship put together…Continue reading