World’s Least Competitive Football Leagues

World's Least Competitive Football Leagues

When it comes to professional football not all clubs are born equal. Dozens of domestic leagues around the world suffer from the unassailable dominance of a handful of clubs. As more money pours into the sport, the dominance of top clubs in various domestic leagues is consolidated rather than weakened, with entire countries often divided in their support of just two genuine league title contenders.

Here’s our list of the world’s five least competitive leagues over the past decade:

1. The English Premier League

Ryan Giggs of Manchester United battles with Francesc Fabregas of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on November 8, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)Formed in 1992, the English Premier League revolutionised English club football. Using an innovative combination of marketing and league restructuring, which generated hundreds of millions of dollars in pay-tv broadcasting license fees, the English Premier League single-handedly saved English club football from obscurity.

There has been only one problem. Since its creation, the English Premier League has proven to be one of the most uncompetitive football leagues in the world. Whilst any Premiership club is capable of beating any other Premiership club on any given day, the fact remains that only four clubs have won the league since its inception, and only three have achieved this feat during the past decade.

2. The Bundesliga

Franck Ribery of Muenchen runs with the ball during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and VfB Stuttgart at Allianz Arena on May 23, 2009 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)The German Bundesliga is one of the oldest football leagues in the world. It is also one of the best supported, attracting the highest average attendances of any football league in continental Europe. League clubs have also performed admirably in European competition, claiming the honours in the European Cup and UEFA Cup on various occasions.

The only problem with this picture is the stranglehold Bayern Munich enjoys on the silverware awarded in German football. This club has won more Bundesliga titles than the other four Bundlesliga winners combined. What’s more, this dominance appears to be increasing, with Bayern Munich claiming seven Bundesliga titles in the past decade alone. During this period only three other clubs managed to claim a title apiece.

3. The Tippelegaen

Valencia's David Villa (L) figths for the ball with Rosenborg's Tore Kvarme during their Champions League Group B football match at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, 06 November 2007. (DIEGO TUSON/AFP/Getty Images)Norway’s Tippelegaen, or Top League, is one of the more obscure European football leagues, but merits mention on this list not only because only four clubs have won the league title in the past decade, but especially for the utter dominance of the Trondheim based club, Rosenborg.

Rosenborg is responsible for what must be one of the longest winning streaks in the history of club football anywhere on the planet. Between 1992 and 2004 Rosenborg was virtually unbeatable, claiming 14 consecutive league titles during this period.
Fortunately for Norwegian football, the club’s grip on the top spot seems to be weakening, as three other Norwegian clubs have claimed silverware during the past 4 seasons.

4. The Scottish Premier League

Rangers' Scottish defender David Weir (R) clears from Celtic's Dutch forward Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (L) during the Scottish Premier League football match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox, Glasgow, Scotland, on May 9, 2009. (ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)The Scottish Premier League could, quite justifiably, be renamed Celtic vs. Rangers. These two clubs completely dominate this uncompetitive league, and one has to go back to 1984 to find a year when a club outside the ‘Old Firm’ won the Scottish Premier League.

In fact, since 1974, there have been only four occasions when a club other than Rangers or Celtic won Scotland’s Premier division. This, combined with a notable lack of success in Europe for the two clubs, has prompted many football fans to call for Celtic and Glasgow to join the Premier League, thereby making both the Scottish and English Premier Leagues more competitive.

5. The Super League Greece

Ieroklis Stoltidis (far R) of Piraeus celebrates with his team mates after he scores the 1st goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Olympiakos and Werder Bremen at the Karaiskakis Stadium on December 11, 2007 in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)The highest level professional football league in Greece has the dubious distinction of being the least competitive league in Europe. This is due mainly to the exploits of the country’s most successful football club, Olympiacos.

Olympiacos have failed to win the Super League Greece only once since 1996, when Panathinaikos disrupted their winning streak in the 2003/2004 football season. This skewed playing field dates back to the earliest days of the Greek league, with only 5 clubs having claimed a league title since the league was created in 1927.

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