It was announced this week that annual wages paid to English Premier League players now tops $2 billion, but as the usual off-season transfer speculation heats up, "some clubs are leaving themselves open to being financially crippled for years to come by over-spending," according to the daily editorial at When Saturday Comes.
The manager of newly promoted West Bromwich Albion, Tony Mowbray, has complained that some of his out-of-contract players are hawking themselves around, then coming back to Albion and asking the club to beat offers made by other teams. Albion and their fellow new arrivals, Stoke City and Hull City, are being told that even one season's survival in the EPL may be beyond them, so huge has the financial gap become between the top flight and the second tier Championship they've just left. The alternative? Splash out on new players and higher wages, but risk the burden of debt that has blighted former EPL teams like Leeds United and Ipswich Town.
Still, at least none of the new clubs are rich enough to have to worry about the unnamed EPL player mentioned in UK press reports who, despite earning $200,000 a week, has racked up $2 million of gambling debts. But it's tough to work out who the player might be: "He's described as 'one of England's most popular footballers,' but we can't think of anyone who fits that description just now."