Why do the same teams always win?

Real Madrid won its 11th Champions League in 2016. The Spanish club could win yet another trophey this year in Cardiff. (Stefano Rellandini / Reuters)

The teams with more resources get the Champions League title and titles from other competitions

You have definitely heard your parents and their friends say: football was more exciting in the past . Twenty years ago, the level between teams was more equal and it allowed to have bigger team and country diversity in the Champions League.

Nowadays, four big leagues grab all the titles: the English Premier League, the Italian Serie A, the German Bundesliga and the Spanish Primera División.

Francesc Trillas, Applied Economics professor at UAB, explains us the three main changes that transformed football and the Champions in mid 1990s.

New competition format

In 1992, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) decided to change the name and format of the European Cup to transform it into the actual Champions League.

The European Cup confronted the best 16 teams in Europe following the classic elimination process of Round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.

During the 90s decade several changes were introduced with the objective of increasing competitivity and assuring a place for the main clubs in the four great leagues.

Currently, 32 teams (the double) confront one another in a previous group stage that works to prolong the competition: more matches, more retransmissions and more benefits for the clubs.

The group stage draw creates a lot of expectation: depending on the group, the more modest teams can advance further in the competition. (Marc Arias)

Liberalisation of the transfer market

In the past, clubs could only have three foreign players. But since the season 1996/1997 the Bosman Law is implemented: this law allows community players (from EU countries) to no longer count as if they were foreigners.

This law benefits the richest clubs, because it allows them to sign international footballers from around the world. This way, the gap grows between the biggest and the smallest teams, those with less resources.

“It is a vicious circle: teams with the most amount of money can sign the best players and offer a better show. Therefore, they are the ones who receive more money from broadcasting rights.

FRANCESC TRILLAS/ Applied Economy Professor at UAB

New television format

The emergence of digital platforms and pay-per-view channels has also influenced: broadcasting rights are an important part of the income for clubs.

To benefit the most from it, the important thing is to have more games to broadcast and that those are played by leading European teams.

Football broadcasting rights are a big business for clubs, although revenue sharing is unfair and hurts smaller clubs. (Getty Images)

Find out more in Junior Report.

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