As we creep into the new year, it's a time for relaxing with the family or partying, but for many chairmen of football clubs up and down the country, the chimes of Big Ben signal a new transfer window, and for managers a chance to add that player that will push them into the promotion places.
As teams fight for the best players, you sometimes have to ask yourself, is it all really fair?
Fans of football clubs often urge the manager to splash the cash if things are not going their way. Some choose to do this, teams like Manchester City who spend vast sums a season on players, paying astronomical wages and transfer fees and subsequently disregarding their own youth team- is it really right?
My own personal opinion is no, because being able to spend £50million on a player when another team can only pay £20million just to stick them in there reserve team is stupidly wrong, buying players just so other challengers can't progress is a very bad thing for the Premier League.
A wage cap might be a good place to start.
Figures such as £80,000 for any Premier League team are nothing; clubs like Crystal Palace and Southampton have shown what they can do when they can keep hold of their youngsters, with both teams catapulting themselves into the Premier League.
This is not only good for the clubs themselves but also the English national team, because when the smaller clubs can keep hold of their youngsters and give them guaranteed game time, they can develop and reach their full potential.
As you have seen with Adam Lallana (Southampton), Thomas Ince (Blackpool), Ross Barkley (Everton), if the F.A are going to commit to rules like this, shouldn't they look to add a rule where six of every Premier League teams have to be under the age of around 20? There should also have to be at least five English players under the age of 25? You can see how these sort of rules have helped out teams such as Spain and Germany.
If you support a team in League One or below you would know how difficult is just to keep the books balanced. Teams like Bury, Gateshead and Leyton Orient cannot compete financially with some teams in there league, due to the caliber of bigger teams around them.
They therefore have to rely on youth and free transfers which most times are successful, but as most teams will say, hardly last for more than one season, because as soon as a younger player starts to do well the big teams notice and subsequently pick the pockets of their lower league relatives.
Most teams then struggle to replace these players sufficiently, and therefore cannot compete with the bigger and wealthier neighbours.
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