The Premier League in 2022 saw the crowds back after the restrictions of the Covid era, and also saw more than its fair share of VAR controversies.
It also saw one of the major clubs, Chelsea, come under government control, following sanctions over its then owner, Roman Abramovich, before its eventual sale to an American-backed consortium.
The year ended with the news that two other big clubs, Liverpool and Manchester United, could be up for sale, whilst Cristiano Ronaldo provided a sideshow of his own.
The 2021 – 2022 season
The 2021-2022 season saw the title come down to a two horse race, with Manchester City eventually pipping Liverpool to the title by a single point.
It was the fourth title in five seasons for Pep Guardiola’s men.
For Liverpool it was disappointing because their final tally of 92 points would have been enough in most seasons for them to have won the title. At one stage they were in contention for four major trophies, but had to settle for both domestic cups in the end, after losing in the final of the Champions League to Real Madrid as well.
Chelsea, despite their problems off the pitch, finished third, whilst the final Champions League place went to Tottenham Hotspur, who pipped North London rivals, Arsenal, to fourth place.
Watford and Norwich, who had been promoted to the Premier League at the end of the last season went straight back down again, and they were joined in the Championship by Burnley, who lost their perennial fight for survival.
Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest made the journey up the other way.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, sanctions imposed by the UK governments affected many companies and businesses owned by Russian citizens. They included Chelsea and their owner, Roman Abramovich, the man who had bankrolled their success for the best part of two decades.
Whilst a sale was arranged, the club effectively operated under government control, with severe restrictions on how it functioned. Eventually it was sold to a US consortium fronted by Todd Boehly, who also has an interest in the Los Angeles Dodgers, for a final price in excess of US $5 million.
The 2022 – 2023 season
The Premier League season started earlier than usual due to the Qatar World Cup and was about one third complete when the campaign was halted.
Arsenal were the early pace setters, and went into the hiatus five points clear of Manchester City, who remain the favourites to defend their title, not least because they signed Erling Haaland in the summer.
The Norwegian striker has already begun to repay the £51 million paid for him by scoring 23 goals in 18 appearances for his new club.
Although Premier League managers are well paid, there are no guarantees when it comes to job security, and already this season, six clubs have changed head coach. Past success also counts for little either as Thomas Tuchel found to his cost.
He may have steered Chelsea to the Champions League and Club World cup, and helped navigate them through one of the most difficult eras in their history, but several bad results and he was gone, to be replaced by Graham Potter.
The only thing that can be guaranteed is that there will be more managerial casualties before the end of the season.
Manchester United have attracted as many headlines off the pitch as they have on it. When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fired in November 2021, German Ralf Rangnick was appointed as interim boss in his place, with a big reputation as an innovative coach.
However, he failed to impose his ideas during his time at Old Trafford, unable to control a divisive dressing room, and after finishing sixth, was replaced by former Ajax coach Erik ten Haag.
The Dutchman has imposed some much needed discipline and structure at the club, but it has come at a cost, which included the benching of superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo.
His retaliation was to give a high profile interview to a television station that made headlines around the world, in which he criticised many of the people at the club, and accused it of having fallen behind the times in terms of facilities and training methods.
His contract was terminated by mutual consent on the eve of the World Cup.
Meanwhile news broke that the hated Glazer family, that have owned the club since 2022 are considering selling their stake. And with Liverpool, also potentially up for sale, the battle to acquire the two teams could be one of the big stories in the new year.
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