Burnley boss Dyche predicts Premier League separation
Tomorrow's opponents Manchester City have come a long way since spending £3m on then record signing Lee Bradbury, who coindidentally made his debut against the Clarets in pre-season in 1997.
The Citizens recently eclipsed their biggest spend, previously £54m for Kevin de Bruyne, when capturing Athletic Bilbao's Aymeric Laporte for £57m in the January transfer window.
But they weren't the only designer names to be snapped up on their spree as the club parted with almost £200m to take Bernard Mendy, Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva and Ederson.
And the remainder of the top six have followed a similar pattern. Manchester United, who parted with £89m for the purchase of Frenchman Paul Pogba, added striker Romelu Lukaku for £76m, pieced together a lucrative package to entice Alexis Sanchez and brought in Chelsea's Nemanja Matic for £40m.
Spurs have claimed Davinson Sanchez and PSG's Lucas Moura for more than £60m, Arsenal have strike pairing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette for a combined £104m while Chelsea have paid in excess of £120m on Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater.
And, last but by no means least, Liverpool threw £75m at Southampton for centre back Virgil van Dijk while also taking on Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
With the sport becoming wealthier and wealthier, becoming a multi-billion pound industry at elite level, the idea of an innovative European Super League has often been proposed.
Dyche doesn't believe that those discussions will realistically go any further, but the Turf Moor chief believes that the extent of separation will effectively form a break away league within the top flight.
"I don’t know about the super league but I think there is a super league thinking," he said. "I don’t think they will do it. Most of us think there will be a mini league within the Premier League. It’s been there before but it’s got more defined.
"I think the thinking from all the masses is there is a super league of the top six clubs and this season shows that. We talk about the anomaly year when Leicester won it.
"It was a perfect storm. Leicester got on the right side of their margins, look how many 1-0s and draws they got, players on top of their form, injuries. It needs that."
Dyche added: "There’s a strong chance it could become too separated. If the top clubs keep collecting the best players and if they get it more right than wrong. If everyone else is shopping in a different market, then over time that gap will increase.
"It could change, it might not. The beautiful thing about football are those moments where you get a Leicester and it all changes again. If you look year on year in a normal Premier League the big boys are getting stronger.
"Superpower thinking everyone of them is a £50m player at Manchester City. Every single one of them is £50m.
If our record signing is £15m and their’s is 50 it is a hard task. Every time a player moves it drips down through the market."
Regardless of all that spending, the Clarets have been able to compete against those so-called "superpowers".
The victory over Chelsea obviously stands out, as do points away at Wembley, Anfield and Old Trafford, and Dyche is proud of that development in an increasingly challenging environment.
"You can’t see the future but it’s unlikely the real top ones are going to go backwards," Dyche said. "They are going to keep spending, go further. Increased stadium in Tottenham’s case.
"The next TV deal probably goes north. If you have that, a new stadium and a backer you are going to be better equipped to sign £50m players than Burnley are.
"I think the thing important is our part in it. We are proud of that we are doing here and believing in it. We are moving forward. It’s not about tomorrow at Burnley but season after season."