The Premier League’s era of vanity worship may be over but the future won’t be equal

The league has bared its teeth on teams in breach of profit and sustainability rules. But the current enforcement has solidified the disparity between clubs

This Premier League season will be remembered for many things: as the season when the Kop lost its Klopp, as the season of “Well done boys, good process”, as a time in which the “agent of chaos”, whether named Darwin or Jérémy or Kaoru or Kai, offered a brief and sparkling reprieve from the monotonous precision of the relentlessly rehearsed modern game. Mostly, though, it will be remembered as the season of teeth.

By near-universal consensus, the points deductions imposed on Everton and Nottingham Forest, as well as the ongoing investigation into Leicester City’s finances (not to mention the 115 charges still pending against Manchester City), prove at long last that the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules “have teeth” – or “unexpected teeth”, as one commentator put it. The Super League fiasco and the ongoing failure of the Premier League to secure an equitable deal for the distribution of media revenue down the football pyramid, meanwhile, have highlighted the need for a “regulator that has real teeth” – a need that the recently introduced football governance bill, many believe, may help address. The age of the soccer regulators is upon us, and suddenly their fangs are everywhere. Not since the days when Luis Suárez was feasting on the arms and shoulders of his opponents has there been quite so much attention paid in English football to matters of dentition.

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