The Premier League has long been the holy grail of world football, with the English lower leagues existing in its gargantuan shadow. But as the competition has become gradually greater in magnitude over the years, the wealth it has attracted has trickled down into the lower echelons of the football pyramid.
There has long been talk of creating a Premier League 2, and the investment now seen in the Championship is highlighting how this division could soon be marketed on a global level.
Huge Difference Between Lower Divisions and Premier League
When you look at the lower leagues of English football from League One and below, the kit deals are nowhere near as lucrative as those found in the top flight. For example, Sunderland are sponsored by the Great Annual Savings Group and Lincoln City have Peregrine Holdings plastered across their predominantly red shirts.
Championship Getting Closer to Top Flight
Those divisions seem worlds away from the glitz and glamour of the Premier League, where famous companies are draped all over player’s chests, sleeves, shorts, and training attire. Not to mention the various boards and banners around the grounds and on television. The top-flight screams money and investment, and all the world’s biggest brands want to get recognized there. The Championship shared more similarities with the lower leagues for many years, but now it’s beginning to look like the Premier League in the wealth of kit sponsors out there.
Championship teams are now penning mega-money deals for sponsorship rights on their shirts, and also on their training getup. For instance, the well-known casino and betting company, 888, has cut a deal with Cardiff City to be represented on their practice wear. This is a top online casino company, and one of the sites recommended when you visit here. The site mentioned collates numerous different sites’ details, such as bonuses and game libraries, and illustrates how expansive the online industry has become. This partnership will help add to their notoriety. Another example of this is Bournemouth, who have Vitality’s name across their kits.
What Would a Premier League 2 Look Like?
The amount of cash being injected into the Championship – along with the ever-increasing level of football being played in the division – has led to some calls to rebrand it and bridge the gap with the Premier League. There have been various proposals about how this would go ahead, with some people calling for a two-tiered Premier League system.
In 2009, the Bolton Wanderers chairman, Phil Gartside, said there should be two Premier League divisions, each with 18 teams. In 2018, Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani also called for a Premier League 2 as he believed his side were not making what they deserved from the television rights deal.
From the big money deals with major companies in the Championship and the number of rich investors buying into the clubs, it is clear that the gap between England’s top two flights is shrinking. The time may be ripe to rebrand the Championship and market it to a global audience.