Sunday 18 February 2018 / 07:51 AM


Manchester City will win the title, it’s as simple as that, and it feels ludicrous to be making this pronouncement so earlier in the season.

Heck, it’s not even Christmas yet.

But nevertheless, here are the facts:

-Thirteen games into the season, Manchester City already have an eight-point cushion over their closest challengers.
-They are yet to lose this season, and have only drawn one game.
-Their goal difference is superior than every other team in the division, beating their closest rival by 12.

Even if City – who downed Huddersfield 2-1 on Matchday 13 – were to have some level of collapse, it would need to be highly dramatic for them to cede the title.

Manchester United – the closest challenger to Pep Guardiola’s side – are eight points behind, and they look like they’ve got further losses in them, too.

Chelsea are a further three points behind United, with Arsenal and Spurs lagging even further behind.

To summarise: it’s sewn up.

Which is great…for City fans.

For everyone else? It’s a bit of a shame. It takes the buzz out of a league that has been fantastic and captivating for the last two years.

And this is where I must beg the question: what can we do – if anything – to stop money being such a huge factor in deciding where the Premier League title goes?

First it was Chelsea, spending ludicrous sums to accumulate the very best players in the world.

And now it’s City, and the numbers are even more ludicrous and the players just as good, if not better.

There is no doubt that Pep Guardiola is a good coach, with innovative ideas.

But this is not a case of a team getting better as a result of good coaching or savvy recruitment.

Guardiola has not performed miracles. He has spent money. A LOT of it.

Since joining City he is believed to have spent nearly £400 million on new players.

Yes, I’m 100 percent serious.

And I’m also aware that Guardiola isn’t alone – Mourinho has also spent truly ridiculous sums of cash on his side too.

But, speaking as someone who doesn’t support one of these clubs, I have to express my view and say that I think it’s a shame.

Clearly finance has to be part of football, but does it have to be the main contributing factor?

No, it doesn’t. We could put in place wage caps and transfer caps. We could distribute TV money to favour clubs with less money. The list could go on.

But right now, we don’t seem to be doing anything, aside from the completely unenforced ‘financial fair play’ rules.

At present, football is still exciting, but unless we stem this flow, the more moneybags clubs there will be in Europe, the tighter the stranglehold money will have on the game, and more the enjoyment will be squeezed out.

Well done, City – but I wish I wasn’t having to hand out congratulations before November is even out.

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Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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