The football transfer window in recent years has ascended on the crest of a cash-infused wave, looming large over the sport.
It now stands so tall, that it is reaching the point of inevitability when all waves must crash, where the sheer weight cannot be supported. When this particular wave crashes, the ramifications will ripple throughout football.
We now stand at a point where singular transfers outweigh most clubs annual income. The select few continue to dip their reluctant toes in the market, but the top talents that would benefit any team are being purchased for fees that would crush the majority of top flight outfits.
Paris Saint Germain in the summer stepped into the market and made everyone notice. Their jewel-adorned cane pointed toward Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, and the crowd could only watch on as the French club made it rain. No other club could enter the fray once PSG came calling, and they made the Neymar transfer possible only because they could pay money that equals most countries deficits.
The shockwaves created by PSG are being felt in the Premier League too. Before the Paris club were backed by bottomless pockets, the current TV deal in place for the Premiership meant we were bullying the lion’s share of Europe by chucking money at players. Now, prices are jacked up further whenever PSG or Man City are interested.
Simply because the selling club know whatever the price, they will get the fee.
The point where things become untenable is soon approaching though. Transfer fees on average are on the rise, and when it hits a certain level, the rules are going to have to change.
There are options to stop this. Transfer limits on each club, wage caps. These are all processes that have been bandied around for years. Maybe we have already seen the future and not been aware?
Kia Joorabchian was one of the money men who organised the ludicrous transfer of Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez to West Ham. Joorabchian owned the economic rights to both players, and perhaps something along this line may be the answer?
If players in the future had their interests represented in the form of shares, and interested parties purchased shares in the player so they could draft them in for the season? Perhaps loan deals up to a maximum of three years could solve the ongoing money problem?
Whatever the answer, the transfer window arrangement hasn’t helped. It induces panic in clubs and an itchy trigger finger is not the most valued asset when it comes to engineering transfers. The window is universally hated by all managers and for good reason.
Transfers need to change for the good of the game. The level of competitiveness is a healthy one in the Premiership right now, but if City and the big boys continue to spend and subsequently force other clubs to have to spend beyond their means, then that very competitiveness that makes the PL so special will soon wilt.
Virgil Van Dijk for £75m is just another sign that the massive wave is getting bigger. Plans need to be investigated so the future of our game can be guaranteed.
Football, particularly Premiership Football, is a reflection of the world around us, money and possession equals power and status.
What you are highlighting is the inevitable crash, a la the world’s stock markets. They go up to dizzy heights and the pseudo riche flaunt themselves in the faces of those who don’t share their good fortune. But then cometh the crash and oh the crying, wailing and begging for bail outs.
As I believe I detect from your article you too fear the implosion of the mad rush to own anyone who can do x number of ‘keepy uppies’ by paying exorbitant fees and even more ridiculous wages to football players, many of whom have egos bigger than their income.
Arsenal Football Club, it would appear, are owned (major share holder) by an individual whose sole interest in them seems to be the status of having the club’s name and worldwide reputation as part of his collection of sports clubs. He also enjoys the rewards of the bounty from his shareholdings. He is an overseas citizen who attends very few of Arsenal’s games and it would seem has little to do with the day to day running of the club. This is reflected in the clubs current management problems and fading standing in the Premiership.
This differs radically from the massive amounts of money pumped into some of the elite from wealth procured from sources outside football but both aspect yield the same satisfaction of reflective glory and the status of ownership.
The effects are there to be seen from clubs who have tried to compete with the spending power of the over rich – clubs who are relegated and keep on falling.
How many club have been penalised for going into receivership? In my opinion a farcical way of dealing with a situation where a club who have made an effort to mix it with the ‘big boys’, or elite whichever way it is best described, and have failed. Portsmouth would be a classical example of this.
The powers that be have already acknowledged that this situation is an issue that does need controlling, however their attempt was the very feeble ‘Financial Fair Play’ procedure which failed miserably in the face of pressure from the big spenders.
It will take a governing body that has a stomach for facing up to the ‘big boys’, the parasites and the ego inflated practitioners who will undoubtedly rail against any limitations on the current sea of affluence. But this matter does need urgent attention.
Please don’t misconstrue the intent of my comments, I believe there should be a choice of who you work for and the right to sell your talents for just reward. Likewise for an employer to attract skilled operatives in order to satisfy their customers needs. But that is not the situation as it stands at the moment, far from it!
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By far the most eloquent comment I’ve received. This was blog-worthy!
Thanks for the compliment, it is the way I see it in words.
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