Monday 11 August 2014
With only five more days until the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League starts, the hope is that the excitement of the 2013/14 campaign can be repeated. Richard Scudamore, the Chief Executive of the Premier League, says in his introduction to the Premier League Season Review 2103/14, that the League is not basking in the glow of the success of last season and is working hard to ensure that the competition will continue to produce its mix of great football combined with with passionate and loyal support.
Richard Scudamore: "When the leadership of the League changes 25 times you know we have had a competitive and compelling season. We start each season willing it to be like this and the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League certainly delivered.
Most importantly, the fans liked it, with stadia 95.9% full (a Barclays Premier League record) and television viewers watching in ever-greater numbers.
"Without a successful and popular League, the investment that can be made across all of our activities is diminished"
It takes commitment for football to thrive at the very highest level. It is about what it means to support your club home and away. It is, of course, about investing our broadcasting and commercial revenue in the best players, but also in wider sustainable activities. It is about using the standing of our clubs in their communities and the stature of their players to inspire young people to get involved in sport.
All of this, and more, is brought about by creating the highest-quality football competition possible. This drives everything the Premier League does. Without a successful and popular League, the investment that can be made across all of our activities is diminished.
This season saw a refocusing of the Premier League's grassroots and good causes strategy, aligning our investment in community facilities, participation, school sports and youth development. Over a three-year period 152 new 3G artificial grass pitches will be built using Premier League funding. Hundreds of thousands of young people will benefit from these new facilities, but also from coaching and participation programmes run by professional football clubs. The Premier League is expanding its schools programme and is making significant new investment in community sport in partnership with Sport England. A greater schools tournament offering will also see hundreds of schools across the country playing for the privilege to perform at a Premier League stadium.
All this activity complements the huge investment being made in elite Youth Development – £340 million over four years – which is transforming the way talented boys are being coached, educated and progressed through the Academy system. It is a hugely complicated process with a very simple aim: produce more and better home-grown players capable of making it into professional clubs' first teams.
The likes of Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley and Luke Shaw provide encouragement that the hard work is paying off, but it is a programme of change that needs to maintain momentum if we are to succeed.
"Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley and Luke Shaw give encouragement that the hard work is paying off"
Football fans want to see their clubs producing talented players who can compete with, and take their place alongside, some of the world's most gifted footballers. It is that high-octane and quality-driven mix that means broadcasters, domestically and internationally, continue to invest in, and produce, fantastic programming and marketing for the competition.
Ultimately that mix, great football combined with passionate and loyal support, is what keeps the show on the road. Both the League and the clubs will keep striving to improve the standards that have been set.
Only by doing that will the Premier League maintain its position as a professional and progressive organisation geared to delivering the best possible football."
The Premier League Season Review 2013/14 tells more about the previous campaign with videos showing how one of the most exciting title races in the competition's history unfolded, the top 10 goals and saves, as well as how the money generated by all this excitement is invested by the League and clubs in Youth Development and to help communities in the UK and overseas. Go to review.premierleague.com.