Football and Money

Oct 28, 2011 by     3 Comments    Posted under: Sports Buzz

Old Trafford, Manchester. We’re in stoppage time and more than 70,000 fans in red are stunned. Another 3-4 thousand are celebrating, but they’re in blue. Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko is set through in goal… “Goodness me could it be six? It could you know…” says the commentator. The fans in blue celebrate yet another goal and the score line reads 6-1 in the favor of the away team. Manchester United, not beaten, but thumped in their own backyard. Something that you don’t see every day. Yes. It was the Blue side of Manchester that emerged victorious against their local rivals who also happened to be the champions of England. But how was this possible? The same team that beat a big team like Arsenal 8-2 just a few weeks back, how can it leak six goals at home where they had an unbeaten record which started somewhere in August last year (or maybe earlier)? The answer to this, as many say, can be the money.

Manchester City had been a lower table team. Sometimes they even had to fight relegation to stay in the top-flight. Losing by three or four goals to Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool was a commonplace. But then, things took a dramatic turn. September, 2008, an Abu Dhabi based tycoon completed his takeover of the club. Suddenly, the manager had a transfer budget that was more than any other team in the country. World class players started signing for the club who had “very” attractive wages for them. Just three years on, Man City managed to finish in the top four, meaning that they would be eligible to play in Europe’s most prestigious competition. The UEFA Champions League, a place where the likes of AC Milan, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona meet. Domestically, their form has been impressive. After literally thrashing United 6-1, they sit on the top of the table and the fact that Man City can go all the way to win their first ever Barclays Premier League (BPL) title cannot be ruled out. The wonders that money can do.

Just like Manchester City, Chelsea FC faced a similar turn around. Though they were better than City, the takeover by a Russian oil tycoon, Roman Abramovich, in 2005 meant that they would join Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool as the powerhouses of English football. With the money spent on the team, Chelsea managed to win three BPL titles and two FA Cups and now they’re regular representatives in the UEFA Champions League and are the favorites to win the BPL title almost every season.

But is this how trophies are supposed to be won? Isn’t it supposed to be the homegrown talent and not the talent that is bought? Many argue the fact that big spending clubs “buy” trophies while others win them. But to be honest, a football club has to spend BIG in order to compete with others. While money may buy you world class players, it does not guarantee success. Real Madrid, who have 31 Spanish titles failed to win anything other than a Champions League title in 2004. And during that time, they had their every world class player in their squad (Raul, Figo, Zidane, Beckham, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo and others). And yet again, they have been spending money to land talent. FC Barcelona, on the other hand, spends little and wins more. They do have match winners in their squad but they’re homegrown and unlike their rivals from Madrid, Barcelona has seen more success. Just like Barcelona in Spain, Arsenal in England have always managed to keep their “big four” status without splashing the cash. Although they have been off pace recently, but they have always produced talent that has been recognized worldwide. Players like Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas, Tony Adams, Nicolas Anelka, Samir Nasri and many others (the list is endless) have emerged from the halls of Highbury. Arsenal has a young team that has loads of talent. Young players who emerge from the club’s youth squad grow to become world class players. Even if they take time to mature, the football clubs can save the money. In a nutshell, some buy the talent, some create it.

So why buy talent if one can create it? Some want success to come early while others are patient with it. Clubs who spend big are facing bigger debts and this has forced UEFA to come up with a fair play policy where clubs can take a maximum loss of 30 million pounds when buying players. Now things have eased out….a bit.

I stand for the homegrown talent because I think this is how it’s supposed to be. Football is a game where players train and work hard to win games. It’s the club’s duty to train them and to achieve success which is measured in trophies. Buying talent does work but why is the tradition being forgotten? How have Barcelona and Arsenal managed to be what every club wants to be? Why haven’t Real Madrid won the Spanish title when they have the likes of Ronaldo, Benzema, Alonso in their squad? How did Arsenal beat Manchester City 3-0 on their own turf when it was City who had spent more? These are a few unanswered questions and I bet they’ll remain unanswered for now at least. Football has changed from what it was. The definition of a big club has changed. Money measures the size of a club and not the trophies. Some say Man City is bigger than Arsenal even though the latter have 13 League titles compared to the former’s 2. Funny isn’t it? There must be another solution to achieving quick success otherwise big spending is going to ruin everything. And if it doesn’t stop, this might be the very, but sad end to the traditional football.

The Author

Click to view all posts from .

3 Comments + Add Comment

  • I like your article, its one of the very few which are related to football but one thing that i tyou have gone wrong here is the fact that Barcelona do spend alot of cash …. if you see your facts during the last 3-4 years they have spend more money than the likes of Manchester united.
    Another thing is that at this moment in time arsenal is not a club everyone wants to be ……
    with all due respect to your opinion I have the opinion that having home grown players and bought is essential for any balanced team …. one thing on any side is just not good enough as an example you can see 2 extremes one is arsenal who have not won a trophy in 6 years and other is chelsea who are coming to an end to their cycle (until or unless they spend more)

  • Glad you liked it. Starting with the Barca cash spending, if you compare the amount to what Real Madrid have spent in building their squad, you’ll see some day light. Barca have a stronger youth and they have the ability to create players; Messi is one example. Yes, they have been spending more than United but it was wise spending and not wasteful and on the other hand, they made their own players. About the Arsenal-Chelsea comparison, you saw what happened at the Stamford Bridge yesterday right? Arsenal has loads of talent and they have been unlucky with injuries. The last time they fielded a full-strength squad was back in 2008. Even yesterday, they had players out. But I’d say that a team that spends AND concentrates on home grown talent is a team to watch out for. Too much of either is not good for any football club.

  • About the arsenal point that they have players out with injuries …. I just have one thing to say …..
    why do arsenal fans keep moaning about injuries, why is always arsenal in injury crisis ….

Your Voice Matters to Us

Send in your entries, ideas, thoughts, VLogs, Photologs and related to today.

Subscribe to us on

Youth Correspondent RSS
Youth Correspondent on Facebook
Youth Correspondent on Twitter
Youth Correspondent on Youtube