October 27th, 2010
Footie Finances: A Word From The Experts
For Chelsea, money equals trophies. But are we beginning to see the real costs? (Getty Images/Zimbio)
At first glance, the best thing that ever happened to football (and us) was the EPL. Bringing regular football to subscription television has directly contributed to a huge influx of fundage filtering into the game, not just in England but across Europe. As we all know so well, the money allows clubs to spend ludicrous sums on players, which in turn allows players to spend ludicrous sums on designer tat and hair product.
Results: as players became richer, with better access to quality garms and spray tans, websites like Kickette just made sense. To us, anyway.
OK. Football purists might be angrily swiping their oh-so-pure club loyalty at our facetious attitude to ‘their’ beautiful game but you can’t have it both ways, lads. Money talks, and the game has changed. Ladies may have been attracted by the flashing of the flesh but that doesn’t mean we haven’t done our homework.
The majority of our soldier girls could stat most guys under the table. Just because it’s glossy, pretty and committed to labels doesn’t mean it can’t make you look like an ass-hat. Look at Cristiano. (Bauer Griffin/Zimbio)
Therefore, as Liverpool FC snatch survival from the jaws of insolvency via a last minute buy out, Manchester United hang on to their talismanic number 10 by making him one of the highest paid players in the world and Portsmouth FC teeter on the brink, even we have to admit that at some point this relentless pursuit of trophies via expenditure is going to hit a wall. And it isn’t going to be pretty.
As experts in our field of frivolous financial expenditure, we know that unchecked spending on pretty things like cakes, shoes and Iker Casillas posters eventually leads to scary letters, the reclaiming of said purchases and if you’re really bad, a ban on buying anything of worth for a significant period of time. When even the most successful clubs on the pitch are struggling behind the scenes, surely the powers that be must realise that their empire is crumbling from the foundations?
Whether it’s a review of the criteria that constitutes a ‘fit and proper’ person to acquire a football club, a ban on leveraged buy outs, or points penalties for operating at a loss, we would like to see FIFA take action in order to preserve the longevity and integrity of the football league system across the world. Action from one country alone is not sufficient; any kind of individual league wage cap, say, would merely see an exodus of players to leagues where their demands will be met.
And they need to do it soon. As Wayne Rooney is experiencing right now, there is only so much the ordinary fan will take. In these times of austerity, to see an individual using his value to press more cash from his already strapped club may well provoke a backlash that will dwarf the current ‘green and gold’ anti Glazer campaign at Manchester United. We hope not. For the sake of our game.
Your view? Are you happy to live for today and see your club splash the cash? Or are you concerned for the future? Tell us.