Premier League: Compelling title race brings relief at end of tumultuous season

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illustrate, Manchester City lead Arsenal by two points heading into the final game of the season

  • author, And Luo An
  • Role, BBC Sports Editor

This weekend will mark the tenth time the Premier League title will be decided on the final day of the season.

But rarely before had a race director been so grateful for a successful finish.

Liverpool’s challenge eventually evaporated, dashing fans’ dreams of a victorious farewell to outgoing manager Jurgen Klopp and the prospect of an unprecedented three-way tie.

But either Manchester City or Arsenal will be crowned champions in the final act of this classic showdown.

Sunday may not feature the unforgettable drama of the final day of 2012, when Sergio Aguero’s goal sealed Manchester City’s first Premier League title. But whether it ends with a record fourth title or Arsenal’s first in 20 years, league bosses, broadcasters and neutrals will all have the special ending they hope for.

Off the pitch, however, the top flight is in trouble.

Point deductions for Everton and Nottingham Forest for breaches of financial rules have caused huge controversy this season, with the penalties and subsequent appeals leading to uncertainty over the league table, fan dissatisfaction and fears that relegation battles could be decided by the ruling .

Although both teams ultimately persevered, the controversy surrounding the Profit and Sustainability Regulation (PSR) did not go away.

Newly promoted Leicester City have been accused of breaching spending rules during their time in the top flight (and are currently taking legal action against the league), while Chelsea are also under investigation.

Sixteen months after City were accused of more than a hundred breaches, a hearing in the case is not believed to be scheduled until the autumn, leading to increased scrutiny of the league’s governance and processes.

Although City denies wrongdoing, a sixth league victory in seven years will only heighten questions over the course of the case and whether the club’s wealth has distorted the league’s competitiveness.

Meanwhile, disagreements have arisen between clubs over plans to introduce new spending caps and the Premier League is facing the threat of more legal action from one of its members over changes to related party transaction rules.

As if all this wasn’t enough, league chief executive Richard Masters has also warned that the upcoming independent football regulatory body will have “unintended consequences” amid growing criticism of his The club has been unable to reach a new financial solution with the league.

The Premier League is also known to be deeply concerned about an increasingly congested fixture list, with the Masters recently warning it was reaching a “tipping point” after facing criticism following the cancellation of FA Cup replays.

Sunday’s final day’s drama will provide a welcome distraction for Masters and his colleagues as the title race comes to a head – but one suspects it will only be temporary.

The clock is ticking for the Commonwealth Games

In Birmingham a few weeks ago, Katie Sadleir, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told me that any further delay in announcing a venue for the 2026 events beyond May would be “very problematic”.

However, CGF has not yet officially released any news.

Insiders say they still hope to confirm a host within the next two weeks, but the clock is ticking.

Super League coming to the US?

The National Rugby League (NRL) season kicked off in the United States for the first time in March with a Premier League doubleheader at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas as part of a multi-year deal to grow the sport in the United States.

So can Chinese Super League clubs follow suit?

Talks are already underway about a Club World Challenge in the United States, with some Premier League bosses keen to include regular-season games as part of the partnership.

Wigan and Warrington met in Milwaukee 35 years ago, albeit in an exhibition match. The rugby union is currently “reimagining” itself as part of a 12-year deal with IMG to improve its appeal and anything seems possible.

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