Manchester City's Premier League Dominance Making Football Monotonous?

After the celebrations come the questions. A fourth straight Premier League title for Manchester City marks an unprecedented period of dominance by a team in English soccer

Manchester City, Premier League 2023-24 Win, Etihad Stadium, May 19 2024, AP Photo
Manchester City, Premier League 2023-24 Win, Etihad Stadium, May 19 2024, AP Photo Photo: AP/Dave Thompson

Manchester (England), May 20: After the celebrations come the questions. A fourth straight Premier League title for Manchester City marks an unprecedented period of dominance by a team in English soccer. (More Football News)

A sixth in seven seasons underlines City's superiority in a league that is widely regarded as the most competitive — and certainly the most popular — in the sport.

But, does City's pre-eminence mean England's top division is in danger of becoming a turn-off for billions of fans worldwide? Pep Guardiola doesn't think so.

“It's boring? It's not. It is so difficult,” the City manager said last week as his team closed in on another title.

City's run of success bares comparison to the likes of Germany where Bayern Munich had turned the Bundesliga into a one-horse race until its 11-year winning streak was ended by Bayer Leverkusen this season. Celtic has won all but one of the last 13 titles in Scotland.

Neither of those leagues are as popular as England's top flight and a lack of competition could be a reason why.

That is not City's problem. But, if four in a row becomes five, six, or seven, it could be a problem for all of England's leading clubs if it impacts the revenues generated by the sale of global broadcast rights.

The competition is what makes the Premier League such box office entertainment. And, for now, that competition is still evident.

City needed to win its final game of the season against West Ham United to finally hold off the challenge of Arsenal and clinch the title by two points.

It was the third time Guardiola's team had been taken to the final day of the campaign before being crowned champion, having twice been pushed all the way by Liverpool.

While the headline figure tells the story of City's near unbroken rule over the past seven seasons, the detail shows how closely they were challenged, with Liverpool missing out by just a point in 2019 and 2022.


Liverpool amassed totals of 97 and 92 points in those campaigns - more than any team that hasn't gone on to win the title.

A total of 97 points would have been enough to win the title in all but two other Premier League seasons - in 2018 when City set a new record of 100 points and in 2022 when Liverpool ended its 30-year wait to be champion with 99.

That is a measure of the heights City has had to reach to stay ahead of the rest. Even last season, it had to overcome an Arsenal team that spent 248 days at the top of the standings — the most for any team that hasn't won the title.

This season, Arsenal set a new club record for wins (28) and goals (91) in the Premier League — even surpassing its last title-winning team from 2004, which went an entire league campaign unbeaten.

“Before it was Liverpool to push our limits and now it was Arsenal,” Guardiola said.

“We got the message from Mikel (Arteta) and his players. We have to make the right decisions in the next years because they are here to stay.”


City's dominance has certainly been underpinned by the fabulous wealth of its owners, having been bought by Abu Dhabi's ruling family in 2008.

Since then, some of the world's finest players have been lured to the Etihad Stadium at a cost of around USD 2 billion, along with arguably the greatest manager of his generation in Guardiola.

Yet, City is not alone in being able to spend big and its Premier League rivals are among the richest clubs in the world.

"They spend much more in the last five years than us. They should be there but they are not,” Guardiola said.

Manchester United has consistently splashed out trying to keep pace with City — spending an estimated USD 1.5 billion since Guardiola arrived in England in 2016.

In that time, Liverpool has set new transfer records for a defender in Virgil van Dijk and a goalkeeper in Alisson.

Chelsea has spent around USD 1 billion over the past two seasons since being bought out by US investor Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital. Before that, it was bankrolled by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

And, Arsenal signed Declan Rice for a then-British transfer fee of USD 138 million last summer to strengthen its title challenge.


United and Chelsea are examples of what can happen when money isn't spent well, with both teams assembling expensive squads that have drastically underperformed.


It is now 11 years since United last won the title in 2013. In that time, it has repeatedly missed out on Champions League qualification — this season included — and has never been closer than 12 points off the eventual winner.

Meanwhile, Chelsea has endured a dramatic slump since winning the Champions League in 2021 and has failed to qualify in the past two seasons.

City had already won two titles by the time Guardiola took over, but he has turned it into a superpower. It is the perfect combination of spectacular wealth and managerial genius that has made City a near-unstoppable force in the Premier League.