Make us your home page
Instagram

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."

.Tonight

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

Loading...
  1. Cue the Scott Frost to Nebraska speculation

    Blogs

    Nebraska shook up the college sports world Thursday afternoon when it fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst.

    And that should scare UCF fans.

  2. USF defense feeds on Temple offense to take NCAA interceptions lead

    College

    TAMPA — Backed up in his end zone, Temple quarterback Logan Marchi scrambled, trying to elude a USF defensive end coming straight for him. Until then, Marchi hadn't had much luck hitting his receivers.

    South Florida Bulls safety Devin Abraham (20) sacks Temple Owls quarterback Logan Marchi (12) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
  3. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  4. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    TAMPA

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  5. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.