Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

As money flies around, chaos reigns at top

The English Premier League opens today, awash with more cash and global appeal than ever.

Yet at the moment, the biggest stars might be the managers.

The era of the super-coach has arrived in England's top division. Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, Antonio Conte and Juergen Klopp make up possibly the best group of managers seen in this country at one time.

"It's a world championship of managers," said Wenger, 66, who begins his 20th full season as Arsenal's manager.

His is the only club with stability at the top. Half the league's clubs have a different manager than they started last season with, including glamor clubs Manchester United (Mourinho), Manchester City (Guardiola), Chelsea (Conte) and Liverpool, where Klopp arrived partway into last season. How unusual is Wenger's reign? The manager with the second-longest time at his current club is Bournemouth's Eddie Howe, at just under four years.

So some huge reputations are going to take a battering in a league where Leicester City's improbable surge to the title was the story of last season.

The Manchester clubs have hogged the limelight in the offseason because of the coaching arrivals and their heavy spending in the transfer market that reached $400 million Tuesday with the signings of Paul Pogba (for a world-record $116 million) at Man U and defender John Stones at City. Most British bookmakers make the teams the two favorites for the title this season. Pogba will miss the opener, serving a one-game ban left over from his time at Italy's Juventus.

Of course, the bookies can get it wrong. Leicester started as a 5,000-1 shot to win the league last season.

Its manager, Claudio Ranieri, believes it will be "impossible" for his team to retain the title, saying Thursday it's more likely that "ET comes to Piccadilly Circus." Ranieri said the odds on his team should be "6,000-1,"

A record injection of TV money, split evenly among the 20 teams, is leveling out the Premier League and increasing competition. This is the first season of a new three-year broadcasting deal for domestic and international rights worth a record 8.3 billion pounds ($10.8 billion) — 71 percent above the previous deal — and clubs have used that windfall to spend around $1 billion this offseason.

"To find a team to win four, five, six games in a row is not easy," said Guardiola, who collected trophies galore in spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich since 2008. "All the managers that have more experience than me in England talk about that. Maybe that is the challenge."


NASL: Rowdies at New York

7, Hempstead, N.Y.

Fall records: Rowdies 2-3-2 (eight points, eighth), New York 4-2-2 (14 points, third)

Today's EPL Openers

• Leicester City at Hull City, 7:30 a.m., CNBC

• Tottenham Hotspur at Everton, 10 a.m., CNBC

• Stoke City at Middlesbrough, 10 a.m.

• Watford at Southampton, 10 a.m.

• West Brom at Crystal Palace, 10 a.m.

• Swansea City at Burnley, 10 a.m.

• Sunderland at Manchester City, 12:30 p.m., CNBC

As money flies around, chaos reigns at top 08/12/16 [Last modified: Friday, August 12, 2016 10:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return


    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  2. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits


    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  3. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  4. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.
  5. Rays at Twins, 8:10 p.m. Friday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Twins

    8:10, Target Field, Minnesota

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Chris Archer (3-3, 3.76)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)