Connect with us

Opinions

It’s all about the money

‘I play for the money. Football’s not my passion’

Benoit Assou-Ekotto

Money has without a doubt shaped football for the past decade at least. The game is full of football players who have turned into millionaires, owners who are billionaires and invest countless amounts of money into clubs as well as fans who spend billions each year in order to see “money ball” at work. If you would like to save money on bills such as utility bills then a Utility Bidder may be necessary!

Football was once a game that was based on passion, the players were all about the game – that’s all they cared about. It was a beautiful sight to see, when winning and losing mattered more than the money. When if you weren’t passionate about the game, you weren’t a true footballer and fan of the game.

However, that’s all gone out the window in the past decade. Now, it’s a club’s dream that some billionaire (or millionaire) comes up and wants to invest in the club. He becomes the owner and splashes money left, right and center in order to take a team (no matter how good or bad) to the top. If you think money is the most important thing, why not take on a lodger for a little extra income?

An almost innumerable amount of money has been put into football since 2003 and it’s that year that Roman Abramovich took over Chelsea Football Club. It is that same Russian billionaire/oligarch who is mostly blamed for the huge change in football. Some would consider Roman a “pioneer of the new football” or “the champion of the football industry”. While I am a Chelsea fan who certainly appreciates everything Roman has done for the club, I do believe that he has ruined football more than he has helped it. It’s created a negative effect, it’s created an image that no longer portrays football as a sport, but as an industry.

Since we’re talking about Roman, let’s look at how much he’s spent on transfers since he took over in summer of 2003:

2003-04: £121.3 million

2004-05: £92.2 million

2005-06: £54.2 million

2006-07: £66 million

2007-08: £50.5 million

2008-09: £24.2 million

2009-10: £21.5 million

2010-11: £95.8 million

2011-12: £71.55 million

2012-13: £86.5 million

Total amount: £683.75 million. (Some other numbers have it at around £700 million.)

Now of course, there are sales involved that have not been counted, but Chelsea rarely make a profit on a player, so the total investment (with sales) is without a doubt above £600 million at the very least. If you would like to make some investment then you may want to decide what index funds to buy and you may be able to make a profit like Chelsea. That is an insane amount of money. It wasn’t until the 2011-12 season (Roman’s 9th season at Chelsea) when Chelsea Football Club reported their first profitable year – the amount was £1.4 million. The season before, Chelsea Football Club reported a £67.7 million loss. After adding everything together, at least £600 million spent on transfers and an additional £400 million spent on other things (wages mostly), it is said that the total investment into Chelsea Football Club since 2003 is £1 billion. I wasn’t lying when I told you it was an insane amount.

However, Roman doesn’t stand alone when it comes to spend big money in football. You have the following Presidents/Owners: Florentino Perez (Real Madrid), Sandro Rosell (Barcelona), Sheikh Mansour (Manchester City), Qatar Investment Authority/Nasser Al-Khelaifi (PSG) and Dmitry Rybolovlev (AS Monaco) who have also splashed the cash into their respective football clubs.

Manchester City (since 2008): £930.4 million (at the very least).

AS Monaco (since 2012): £106.1 million

PSG (since 2011): £270 million

Liverpool (since 2007): £317 million

Barcelona (since 2003): £800.35 million

Real Madrid (since 2003): £815.2 million

Bayern Munich (since 2012): £112 million

Anzhi Makhachkala (since 2012): £105 million

All of this together and you have £4,456,050,000 billion among 9 teams. It is absolutely mind blowing how much money has been pumped into football.

Now, some of you are probably looking at those numbers and wondering what I’m trying to get to. Well, what the main points are how football, as a whole, has been ruined by being turned from a sport into an industry/business and how England has suffered from it.

First regarding England: England has disappointed in major tournaments for some time now. Haven’t been to a major tournament final since 1966 World Cup (beat Germany 4-2), failed to qualify for Euro 2008, a quick exit in South Africa 2010 and in Ukraine-Poland 2012. England, especially when compared to Italy, Spain and Germany, has been completely outdone by each country in major tournaments (both club and country). Italian, Spanish and German teams have won the Champions League more than England. Let’s go back in time t0 1992:

“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 the national team hasn’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.” (footykicks.com)

Due to this, England has failed to succeed as much as aforementioned countries. It’s that simple. We’re growing/developing their talent while they also have other talents producing in their top divisions unlike England. A majority of players in the Serie A are Italian, a majority of the players in La Liga are Spanish and a majority of players in Bundesliga are German while a majority of players in the Premier League are not English.

Football has been turned into an industry – one that has billions pumped into it every year. I’ll use Silvio Berlusconi (AC Milan owner/president) as my prime example. Berlusconi bought the club in 1986 and eight years later, the club won the Scudetto. From there on out, it all kicked off and began. Berlusconi began to manipulate and control public discourse to ensure profits and power that could never be challenged. This, in turn, gave the media a lot more power. Now, these oligarchs/moguls don’t have to compete with state-owned television networks, fight for market shares against state companies (who have been enfeebled by privatization and deregulation. Now people like Berlusconi can operate on a global stage, they’ve developed football into an industry/economy. That was then and that is still a case, but the picture has changed a bit. Now, the new oligarchs can trade the shares of their companies on stock markets and cut deals with multinational corporations. The current generation of oligarchs are “new money”, they flaunt their riches like their inclined to. This shows their conflicts of interests as the difficulty of obscuring wealth and influence increases.

As a result, corruption has increased, look no further than Berlusconi and Agnelli (Juventus). Milan’s president’s bribes, manipulation of government to promote his own interests and other criminals are clear signs of the increase of corruption. Juventus were caught allegedly cheating and setting up matches in the Calciopoli scandal, when they lifted the 2005 and 2006 Scudetto (which was later taken away) and The Old Lady was relegated to Serie B as a punishment. Their current manager, Antonio Conte, isn’t much better himself as he has his own match-fixing allegations and convictions to handle (when he was at Torino).

Here are some interesting statistics for you to read over (found in a study that covered the 2010-11 Premier League):

  • Top-flight clubs spent £2.51 billion in cash, which was £285.8 million more than they earned.
  • The Premier League generated £2.23 billion of income, which equates to 0.148 per cent of the entire output of the UK economy.
  • Clubs spent almost £400 million on signings after player sales.
  • Wages for players and staff cost clubs £1.52 billion.
  • Premier League clubs’ net debt was £1.39 billion, costing them £97.2 million in debt-interest payments.

This all being said and taken in account, we can come to the conclusion that football has clearly made a transition from sport that revolved around love and passion to an industry that revolves around money, no matter the cost. While love and passion for the game still exists, it is gradually deteriorating. Football has changed a lot since 1986, 1992 and 2003. The huge spending and magnanimous influence of money in football isn’t just among Europe’s top 5 leagues, it’s everywhere – The “land of soccer” (United States), Denmark, Saudi Arabia, China, Singapore (where a lot of match-fixing occurs), etc. It has turned into a global epidemic and whoever you blame – Berlusconi, Roman or someone else, it’s evident that what once made football “the beautiful game” has turned into “much more than a game”.

This piece was written by Ervin Krantic. Follow him on twitter @ImhotepDF

What are your thoughts on this topic? Let us know by dropping a comment below. Make sure you follow us on Twitter @OOTB_football and like us on Facebook. We’re on Google+ and Tumblr as well for those interested.

100 to Watch

Latest

Talent Radar8 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #6: Luka Jovic, Anthony Martial and Reiss Nelson feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Talent Radar9 months ago

Talent Radar: A-League’s 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19

Brian Bertie writes about the 10 young players to watch in this season’s A-League. Australia have made rapid strides forward...

Interviews9 months ago

Interview: Abneet Bharti on Indian footballers abroad

SU Sintrense defender, Abneet Bharti, the only Indian footballer to be plying his trade in Europe, talks to Kaustubh Pandey...

Talent Radar9 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #5: Matthias De Ligt & James Maddison feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions9 months ago

Borja Fernandez: The underappreciated genius of ISL’s infancy

On the eve of the latest edition of the ISL, Arinjay Ghosh pays a tribute to Borja Fernandez, an ISL...

Opinions9 months ago

Tactical Philosophy: Domenico Tedesco

While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...

Tactical Analysis9 months ago

Liverpool 3-2 PSG: Liverpool edge deserved victory against dysfunctional PSG

Siyang Xu writes a detailed tactical analysis about the UEFA Champions League match that ended Liverpool 3-2 PSG. Liverpool faced...

Talent Radar9 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #4: Matthias De Ligt & Ousmane Dembele feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions9 months ago

UEFA Champions League: The 5 hipster sides to follow this season

Gear up with your organic ginger ale and mystical moustache oil, as Richard Pike briefs us about 5 off beat...

Talent Radar10 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #3: Maxi Gomez & Marco Asensio feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions10 months ago

Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Miles Olusina writes about Maurizio Sarri and the approach he is likely to take at Chelsea. Despite a successful 2016/17...

Talent Radar10 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #2: Joe Gomez & Bertrand Traore feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Talent Radar10 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #1: Joe Gomez & Kylian Mbappe feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions10 months ago

Julen Lopetegui at Real Madrid: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Aamer Aslam writes about what we can expect from European Champions Real Madrid after the arrival of Julen Lopetegui On...

Opinions10 months ago

Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Charles Onwuakpa writes about Carlo Ancelotti and the approach he is likely to take on at Napoli. After three intense...

Scout Report10 months ago

Scout Report: Gonçalo Paciência | Eintracht’s exquisite forward

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Eintracht Frankfurt’s striker, Gonçalo Paciência. For those who have been attentively observing...

Talent Radar10 months ago

Talent Radar: Liga MX’s 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19

Thomas Harrison writes about the 10 players to watch out for in the Liga MX for this coming season. Mexico...

Talent Radar10 months ago

20 Key Young Players to Watch from 20 La Liga Teams

Tom Canton takes a look at they key young players to watch from each of the 20 La Liga teams....

Scout Report10 months ago

Scout Report: Alphonso Davies | Speedy Canadian winger

Griffin O’Neill writes a detailed scout report about Alphonso Davies, the Vancouver Whitecaps winger. While many still believe that the...

Scout Report10 months ago

Scout Report: Diogo Gonçalves | Benfica’s tricky winger

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Benfica’s tricky winger, Diogo Goncalves Having been deprived of their biggest...

Talent Radar Award History

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

More on Outside of the Boot

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this