Barring the Covid-struck season where Liverpool became Premier League Champions, Manchester City has continued to exert its dominance in the English Topflight much to the displeasure of the fans labeling it ‘The Farmers’ League’.
What Is The Farmers’ League?
The Farmers’ League is a term used to describe a league visibly dominated by one team and always a one-horse race to claim the title. In recent years, the Bundesliga and the French Ligue one, have been accused of being the least of the traditional top-five leagues in the world which consist of the English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga, the German Bundesliga, the Italian Serie A and the French Ligue one.
The Bundesliga Farmers’ League Scenario
Bayern Munich in the last decade has claimed the league’s title consecutively while also constantly signing up promising players from their domestic rivals – a case which is barely incident in other leagues. The German outfit has been publicly called out on several occasions for intentionally weakening their rivals in a bid to retain their dominance hence a lack of competition.
Despite being Germany’s biggest club in history, they are still culprits to lurking brilliant players from their rivals as seen in the signings of Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Niklas Sule, Sebastien Rudy, Benjamin Pavard, Robert Lewandoski, Sebastien Rode, Mats Hummels, Mario Gotze and many more.
The Bavarian’s current head coach, Julien Nagelsmann, was recently scooped from high-flying RB Leipzig, sparkling rage across the footballing world and requiring Bayern’s President Oliver Kahn to take to the media to address the criticism.
“We always have a clear idea and philosophy about coaches and players we think are good. We watch them and when the opportunity to get players or coaches arises, then we seize it. It has nothing to do with deliberately weakening competitors. We don’t force anyone to come here, after all. We are, however, an attractive club, and that brings the actors to us.” – Oliver Kahn said.
The French League Exploit
The French league is deemed to be unskilled and not as technical as the other top leagues. Thus they have become subject to ridicule from fans of other leagues.
Marseille and Lyon were the biggest traditional clubs in the french League in the earlier years. Marseille was the reigning club, winning five straight French league titles before Lyon emulated in a spectacular fashion securing seven consecutive Ligue 1 championships in the early 2000s.
Marseille is the only French team to win the Champions League in 1993. Monaco and Paris Saint Germain have also reached the Champions League final but lost in both outings. PSG’s resurgence in recent years after their periods of inconsistency has always been front runners to claim the Ligue One title since 2012.
PSG Arab owners have invested heavily in the club hosting the likes of Edinson Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, record-breaking signings Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, and arguably the greatest player of all time Lionel Messi. The French Giants have, however, occasionally crumbled on the international stage and were victims of Barca’s 6-1 comeback popularly called ‘La Remontada’.
The most recent loss to Bayern Munchen in 2020 final was a wake-up call with the Board opting to bring in new faces to take charge of the project.
PSG snapped up Lionel Messi from Barcelona after the footballing legend ran out of contract and were also active in the recently concluded transfer window with so many ins and outs across the squad in a bid to seal Champions League glory.
English League Set To Become The New Farmers’ League
There’s a quote that goes thus ‘You become what you mock’ – that has been the case of the English Topflight in recent years. Over the past years, the Premier League was dominated by four traditional clubs: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool but in recent years it was adjusted to a big six due to the intensity and the rise of Manchester City and Tottenham.
The English Topflight is regarded as the toughest league in the world in terms of physicality and adjustments to the weather conditions and tactical nous prompting questions of the adaptability of other top players in other leagues.
In 2015/2016, Leicester City became title winners despite their 5000/1 odds to win the title according to bookmakers, and this moment is remarkably the greatest moment in the league’s history.
This sole moment highlights the toughness of the league and the minimal absence of underdogs. In 2016, upcoming premier league giants opted to sign Pep Guardiola from Bayern Munchen, relieving Manuel Pellegrini from his managerial role.
In his first season, City finished third and then, in the next campaign, broke the Premier League record for most consecutive wins, with 18 victories between August and December 2017.
The Cityzens domineered throughout the 2017/18 Premier League season securing the first league title of his tenure with a record of 106 goals, 32 wins, and 100 points.
His Man City team retained the title the following season, and won it again in 2020/21, while also winning the FA Cup, three more EFL Cups, and reaching a UEFA Champions League final.
And in 2021/22, Guardiola would take his side to yet another Premier League title, City’s second successive crown and fourth title in the last five seasons.
Following their disappointing exit to Real Madrid in the Champions League, Guardiola opted to bolster his attack with the signings of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez.
Both signings have had an explosive start to life at the Etihad. Haaland averages a goal per game across all competitions this season, and Man City are currently on the course of exerting their ever-existing dominance across the league to retain the premier league title for a third consecutive season after narrowly winning it in a scintillating comeback against Aston Villa.
Ligue One isn’t the only seemingly ‘Farmer’s league’ amidst the top leagues, and the Bundesliga isn’t the only companion they would have in that regard.
The Premier League led by Pep Guardiola is actively becoming a Farmers’ League if the Cityzens continue to express their exploits domestically.