Will Brentford's model continue to work at Premier League level?

Brentford v Arsenal live stream
(Image credit: PA Images)

The Premier League brings up its half-century in its 30th season. Brentford will become its 50th participant and, arguably, one of the least likely. They were a League Two club as recently as 2009; they spent one of the 60 seasons between 1954 and 2014 in the top two divisions; their last game in the old Division 1 was so long ago it was before Roy Hodgson was born.

A historic club have acquired social mobility in a modern method, moneyballing their way up to the Premier League at a point when cash has felt king. Owner Matthew Benham is the gambler who has beaten the odds, Brentford the club who repeatedly win in the transfer market. In a sport populated by those who think they are cleverer than they actually are, Brentford are advertisements for intelligent planning. They have improved every year, whether in terms of league position, quality of player or bank balance; often in more than one respect.

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Richard Jolly

Richard Jolly also writes for the National, the Guardian, the Observer, the Straits Times, the Independent, Sporting Life, Football 365 and the Blizzard. He has written for the FourFourTwo website since 2018 and for the magazine in the 1990s and the 2020s, but not in between. He has covered 1500+ games and remembers a disturbing number of the 0-0 draws.