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The relative status of football in the two cities has not always been like this. Not that long ago, in 1980/81, Aston Villa were champions of the old first division. In that year there were five West Midland clubs in the top tier. In 1982 Aston Villa won the European Cup, and in the first year of the Premier League they finished second.
compete with Manchester
The rules favour the existing elite clubs, they will entrench the top clubs dominance. The half baked Premier League regulations will hit smaller clubs proportionately more than the large clubs.
The success of a club is dependent on the annual revenue it can attract or on the money put into the club by the owners.
The plan might have worked in the past when there was a maximum wage and perhaps players were more loyal before the Bosman ruling. Now clubs find it hard to keep their good young players.
from all sources, including match day receipts and TV income.
The reason the Midland clubs cannot afford to pay higher wages is because they cannot generate a high enough annual revenue and they cannot attract a needed "benefactor."
Like it or not, football is now primarily about making money. The fans do not like it, but the owners and players clearly do. Football clubs are now primarily vehicles, either for selling products or for increasing the status of the owners.
The new UEFA Financial Fair Play rules and the proposed Premier League Financial rules will not help restore competitive balance. In fact they could well make the inequality worse.
In 2010/11 they still had the seventh highest wage bill, and finished in ninth place. But other clubs were overtaking them in terms of the size of the annual revenue they could generate.
Can their stated plan of developing a youthful and progressive Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary squad bring them success? The fans would hope so, but the evidence is not encouraging.
In 2011/12 Manchester United generated 117 million from commercial and merchandising; more than that year's annual revenue of Aston Villa Omega Speedmaster Professional Mark Ii
They can be lured away by the high wages being offered by the handful of elite clubs who need to build up their squads in order to be able to compete in lucrative competitions.
Where are the clubs from Birmingham, the city which likes to think of itself as Britain's second city?
So now we know Manchester United will finish this season as Premier League champions, and Manchester City will be runners up. The positions were reversed in the previous season.
Villa could not afford to continue to pay the 2010/11 wage levels 90 per cent Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Special Edition
Success in the football business now depends on access to money because winning on the pitch in the long run depends on attracting the best players.
Unfortunately the answer to the second question is no. The present competitive imbalance in the game will get worse.
If the new Premier League rules are introduced commercial income will become more significant. It is not proposed to control how increases in income from this one source are spent, and they could well be spent on higher wages.
They will not help the Birmingham clubs to break into the elite group.
Why have things changed so dramatically? Will the position in the future be any better for the Birmingham clubs?
Given a club's expenditure on wages it is possible to predict with reasonable accuracy that club's final league position.
With Manchester United winning the Premier League with games to spare and Aston Villa suffering the worst season in decades, the difference between the two conurbations' footballing achievements has never been more stark.
In 2010/11 Manchester United's annual revenue was 331 million, Aston Villa's was 92 million, and that of West Bromwich Albion 59 million and Birmingham City 56 million. This is a very big difference, and this can only become even greater.
The best players, with the help of their agents, receive the highest wages and all the evidence shows that a club's position in the Premier league at the end of Omega Speedmaster Professional Vs Coaxial
There are three main sources of annual revenue, commercial and sponsorship, television and other media, and matchday receipts.
In the three years (starting in 2007/08) when Aston Villa finished sixth in the Premier League, their wage bill was the seventh highest in the league.
a season is very closely correlated with the size of the club's wage bill.
The Midland clubs are not good vehicles for selling products either globally or nationally and so have lagged behind with sponsorship, the TV income from Premier League games is reasonably well distributed but of course the Midland clubs have not benefited from the TV income from European games and their home grounds are quite small and not often full.
of their annual revenue was spent on salaries. They decided that in order to survive they needed to downsize, to reduce their wage bill, and as would be predicted they slid down the league table.
Aston Villa have finished this season fighting for their Premier League survival, as they did the previous term. Birmingham City were once again a mid table club in the second tier of football only West Bromwich Albion, the club with a small part of its grounds in Birmingham, were a team the region could be proud of.
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