In recent years we have seen teams rise and fall from different positions in their respective leagues. Some have benefitted from having wealthy owners while some have had to rebuild from extremely difficult fiscal positions. However, at the end of the day some clubs are classed as “Big Clubs” while others in the similar position are not viewed in that light. This article will argue that history alone does not allow a club to be considered “Big” and in some cases it does matter at all.
For any club to be considered as part of the world class not only do they have to qualify for European competitions but their approach to games also has to be very positive. They must enter every single game believing in their ability to win against opposition and any result apart from a win against a lower club is unacceptable.
For example, Real Sociedad were playing newly promoted club Elche on Saturday and the score was 1-1, at this point any top 4 team should be throwing players forward to snatch the win but instead they seemed content with the draw and didn’t play with any sort of urgency.
Merely qualifying for a competition like the Champions League cannot be a sole determinant of whether a team can actually be considered top class. Rather, their attitude and reaction to games should be more important in determining their status.
When a team has a large fan base, they are most likely a massive club. For example Paris Saint Germain are the only club in Paris and had an enormous fan base even before the Middle Eastern takeover.
This automatically made them a huge club in France, additionally they had a stadium that holds close to 50,000 people and though they have only existed for 43 years, their large group of supporters allows them to be as big as they are. Clearly they don’t have the type of history a club like Notts County do but their large support enables them to be bigger.
Moreover, when a club has international supporters in various continents all over the world. The number of followers they have helps in contributing to shirt sales and pre season revenue; overall, this aids the club in expanding and staying relevant in the football world.
The total amount of revenue earned by a club is crucial to their status. Whether this is through large fandom or having private investors to bank roll club activities.
History no longer plays a significant role in clubs, as people would assume. Clubs like Nottingham Forest (two European cups) and St. Etienne (record number of domestic titles) are currently irrelevant because they not only do they have a small number of fans, but financially distant from other top clubs.
A club like Liverpool has declined in recent years, but revenue wise they are not far behind and thus are able to aim for the top four positions annually despite not making the grade in recent years.
While Everton have finished above their Merseyside neighbours in the past 2 years, every year bookies will continually predict Liverpool to finish ahead simply because of the difference in their financial capability.
On Field Success
The current success of a team helps in boosting their reputation and participating in European competitions like the Champions League and Europa League determine their attractiveness to players.
For example the concluding transfer of Willian to Chelsea from Shakhtar started out with Liverpool heading the race. But the Brazilian ended up taking a medical at Spurs then signing a contract (subject to work permit) at Stamford Bridge.
It is quite evident what happened; the player kept on choosing whichever club offered him better European football and bigger chance at winning the domestic title. History at this point is mainly irrelevant to make a club appear big; if it actually had any impact then Willian would be heading to Anfield.
Overall, if these factors are to be taken into consideration it can be concluded that being a top club may end up being a phase in a clubs history. Consistency over a large period of time can easily be forgotten with a poor couple of seasons eg. Deportivo La Coruna or could work vice versa.
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