Football: Record television deal will make new EPL season toughest ever - Martinez

British Premier League football club Everton's Spanish manager Roberto Martinez speaks during a press conference for the Barclays Asia Trophy 2015 (BAT) in Singapore on July 14, 2015.
British Premier League football club Everton's Spanish manager Roberto Martinez speaks during a press conference for the Barclays Asia Trophy 2015 (BAT) in Singapore on July 14, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Everton manager Roberto Martinez said the record television deal secured by the English Premier League (EPL) means the upcoming season will be the toughest in the history of the league.

In February, the EPL sold television rights to its games for a record £5.136 billion ($10.82 billion), a deal which will run for three years from 2016.

Speaking at a Barclays Asia Trophy press conference, Martinez said: "This will be one of the most competitive since the start of the Barclays (Premier League)... for a mixture of reasons. One major aspect of this campaign (is the) new TV deal... (there is) extra focus for teams to look further forward (in terms of signing players)."

Although the new season is set to start next month, a number of high profile transfers had taken place with the likes of Raheem Sterling (Liverpool to Manchester City), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich to Manchester United) and Petr Cech (Chelsea to Arsenal) just some of the top deals signed so far.

The Spaniard also touched on Everton's disappointing 2014-2015 campaign, where the Toffees finished a disappointing 11th.

It left much to be desired, considering they were locked in a tight battle for fourth spot just two years ago with Arsenal.

Martinez, who turned 42 on Monday, said: "(Did) the club playing in Europa League have impact on (our league performance). The answer is yes... we got affected by it.

"But as a team we improved psychologically... it's a lesson we learnt, we got better as a team. We want to be in those positions, to be playing in Europe year after year."

He added that summer signings Gerard Deulofeu and Tom Cleverley will add some much-needed competition for places.

siangyee@sph.com.sg