The input of money has affected football for a while now. It is no more than a dream for most clubs, a rich investor deciding to randomly pick a club and to splash the cash. This can be a great thing for some sets of fans, such as Manchester City fans, but other fans see it differently. Other fans consider the input of money to be a terrible thing, which is ruining modern day football. In this article I will be looking at the effects that has happened due to the flow of money into the Premier League.
It all started in 2003 when Roman Abramovich decided to invest in Chelsea FC, they were a mid table club with hardly any history. Fast forward to present day, as well as hundreds of millions of pounds, and Chelsea have won nine major trophies, which include three Premier League trophies, and most recently a Champions League trophy, which they won last year.This all means that money can and will buy you success in football. This is now a trend in the Premier League with over half of the clubs being owned by a foreign investor. But the foreign investor who is spending the most on their club is Sheikh Mansour. Since the Sheikh has taken over Manchester City, he has spent 425 million pounds on a new team, which includes Tevez, Aguero, Yaya Toure, David Silva etc. There are a lot of fans around the world that think that all the money that the Sheikh is pumping in, is taking out all the competitiveness out of the game, but without this investment we wouldn’t have some of the best players in the world, in the Premier League. Although there comes a time when you have to improve your squad, and in Manchester City there have been several players who need to be replaced. These players include Wayne Bridge and Roque Santa Cruz who have huge wages on their contracts and they are very hard to get rid of, because of this wage inflation it means that teams in the lower half of the league simply can not afford their contracts. When these players sign for Manchester City it is a win-win situation for the player. It either means that they will become successful with Manchester City and win lots of trophies, or it means they will play reserve football/maybe go on loan to another club, and still get paid ridiculous wages. City will also be in serious trouble if Mansour isn’t interested in the club anymore, then at the current rate of loss each year, the next owner will have to be of Mansour’s financial standing because the club wouldn’t be able to survive.
When the League began in 1992-93, 72 percent of the players in the League were English. Over the years this figure has now dropped to 39 percent. When foreign investment came in their was a huge pressure on the clubs to succeed, so the clubs often decided to go with foreign players, because they play at a better standard. We have tried to increase the amount of English players playing in the Premier League by introducing the ‘home-grown’ players rule, which states that you have to include at least 8 home grown players in your squad of 25. But since this rule has been put in place there has only been a 3 percent increase of English footballers in the league, so we really need to do better, maybe make the rule stricter in order to improve the national team. Another reason as to why our national team isn’t succeeding is because other nations, such as Spain and Germany, have a larger talent pool available to them as lots of their players go abroad, and hardly any English players go abroad.
But what can we do to solve this problem? The problem with money in football is that we have slowly become used to it. UEFA has recently tried implementing the ‘Financial Fair Play’ rule, it is trying to stop clubs spending more than they earn. This wont work as City proved last year, they got a 400 million pound sponsorship from Etihad, meaning it is still unfair on other clubs. What they could try is putting transfer and salary caps in the Premier League, this would have a spiralling effect on all the other stuff, such as sponsorship deals and television revenues. This rule would have to be put in all leagues around the world so some leagues don’t have an unfair advantage. On a national team note, maybe we could enforce a rule which states that you have to have 2-4 English players in your starting line up, meaning that top clubs will be forced to improve their academies, and young English players will thrive. The input of money has meant that football is starting to become a business rather than a sport which is a shame.