On the last day of the transfer window Gareth Bale smashed the world record by moving to Real Madrid for £86 Million, while Arsenal finally broke the bank to acquire German international Mesut Özil for £42.5 Million. Arsenal’s previous transfer record of £17 Million had been totally shattered and the manager was given a lot of credit for being able to sign a world-class player of this magnitude.
As of the case of any major signing, the ones made this summer created a lot of excitement among the fans, media and players alike. Although you may exclude the fans and players of the club that the player has just departed from.
In the summer of 2009, Barcelona had just completed a historic treble yet most of the attention was going towards Real Madrid thanks to the record-breaking transfers of Ronaldo, Kaka, Benzema and Alonso. The potential ability of their squad for the forthcoming season became the topic for every discussion and symbolized the “second coming” of Fiorentino Perez.
Apart from commercial benefits such as shirt sales and huge fandom in certain regions of the world, major signings provide a club with more. This article will discuss the various effects a major signing has the fans, the media, the players and the league.
For many fans when they receive the news of a major signing, they are overcome with a great feeling of joy and excitement. The simple thought of imagining and analyzing the positive impacts that the player may have on squad, helps in forgetting things that went wrong with the previous seasons or how the good form will be continued in the case of champions.
The euphoric feeling resembles that of winning a trophy, the bragging rights and optimism increases exponentially until the player plays their first game. Sometimes it allows them to get distracted and for other major issues to go unnoticed.
For example despite Real Madrid Spending over £400 Million for transfers alone since Perez’s return, they have only won La Liga and the King’s Cup. The elections draw nearer but the excitement of Bale has easily overshadowed other major issues such as their huge debt (Although they made profits this year, better management could easily have reduced it to minimal level).
Every year signings are made to address club problems and even when they don’t succeed, more signings are made to cover them up. Sometimes changes are needed at the structural level of clubs and by pinning blame on the manager alone do not allow them to be solved.
The media is vastly occupied when big players move clubs as more attention is directed to the player himself. For example Mesut Özil, ever since his transfer to Arsenal more and more information about his private life has been coming to media attention, dilemmas he did not encounter with the mild media in Spain.
Equally there is also a lot of excitement by football pundits who speculate on different formations the players may fit into. Talks about existing players who will have to make way and how quickly he might adjust to the league and his teammates.
A clear example of a big arrival’s influence on media is Beckham to PSG as Ibrahimovic admitted to CNN that "I think it's good for me that Beckham came so he gets more attention than me, so they leave me a little bit alone,"
Ibrahimovic, a world-class player himself feels the heavy stress and burden that the media attention places on him. He continues by saying "So when David came he got more of the media (attention). That's good because he takes care of that and I can play football and focus on football." The general excitement also helps clubs as media focuses more on the player rather than issues the club may be facing.
Players and the League
When a world-class player joins your team, you are eager to play with them but similar logic also applies to opponents, as they would be keen on playing against the best. It helps increase the league popularity and in future, it makes attracting popular players easier.
A key example is when David Beckham joined LA Galaxy in 2007, he made the league much more popular internationally but more importantly, domestically more people were drawn into football. Since then the likes of Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane and even a 30 year-old Clint Dempsey (who could easily be playing for a good European side) are plying their trade in the MLS.
In conclusion, the signing of great player increases the morale of the surrounding players, journalists and fans. Sometimes even when they are not technically needed in the squad, the mental boost that they bring with them is worth the transfer fee alone.
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