"They're trying to buy the league".
It's something both Chelsea and Manchester City have been accused of down the years due to their wealthy foreign owners. More recently it's been suggested that Manchester United are "doing a City" by trying to buy their way to success. It's true that they've invested heavily following the disastrous impact Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement had on the club.
Despite criticism of their spending these three clubs have gotten what they paid for over the last decade. In that time period they have 11 Premier League titles between them. Not since the 2003/04 season has one of United, City or Chelsea not won the title, and that was Arsenal's 'Invincibles'.
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MONEY = SUCCESS
Some believe that the introduction of the Premier League and arrival of foreign owners has damaged the game in this country. It's true that England's top division has become dominated by money. The teams that spend the most usually enjoy the most success.
It's been like this for some time now, and plenty of clubs have been guilty of buying their way to success. This is why it's still surprising that fans still make a point of highlighting the fact that a rival team is doing so.
As if there's any other way in the modern era. Consider that the last three Premier League Champions' squads cost the following:
- Chelsea (2014/15) : £311.509million
- Manchester City (2013/14) : £369.6million
- Manchester United (2012/13) : £278.3million
These figures show clearly that money equals success in the Premier League era. So for fans of those three clubs to criticise each other's spending is ridiculous, because they are all guilty of it. Not that you can blame them though. It's apparent that the only way to keep up with your rivals is to spend, spend, spend. This isn't going to change unless stern restrictions are imposed.
SHOULD YOUTH BE GIVEN A CHANCE?
It's become a major concern in this country that not enough young English talent is being given a chance. It has led for calls for Premier League managers to start promoting youth, but is this really a viable option in the modern era?
It worked well for Alex Ferguson in the '90s didn't it? Giving chances to the 'Class of '92' proved to be an inspired decision. The promotion of youngsters such as Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and David Beckham helped United to success in the Premier League's early years. However, such a feat is unlikely to be repeated.
United's Class of '92 came long before the likes of Roman Abramovich arrived in England. This was a time when the league was nowhere near as money orientated, as shown by Blackburn's triumph in 1995.
It's also worth noting that Ferguson had been at United nine years before he made the Class of '92 first team regulars. As of June 2015 the average managerial tenure in the Premier League was a mere 2.36 years. That's simply not enough time to be promoting youth and planning for the future.
With their jobs already far from secure it would be illogical for managers to take the kind of risks Ferguson took back in the '90s. Managers simply don't have enough time these days. Owners want instant success, this is why young players aren't being given a chance.
Fans and pundits may want to see youngsters making the jump to the first team, but as soon as the club struggles then the manager will be questioned.
A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD?
The impact of money on the Premier League has been no means entirely negative. It's allowed fans in England to see world-class foreign players and a higher standard of football. The money being spent by clubs is one of the reasons the Premier League has been established as the world's best.
Fans of clubs down in the wrong end of the table will say that the financial strength of the biggest clubs is not fair on them. So is it time for restrictions to be put in place to help level the playing field? This would certainly be fairer. However, being perfectly fair would be detrimental to the league.
If the big clubs were restricted then our league could quickly become boring. Part of the excitement of the league is seeing world-class talents arrive in England. Should the clubs that are more successful financially, commercially and on the pitch not be allowed to reap the rewards?
The likes of United, City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal are huge teams with massive global fan-bases. While money has of course been crucial to much of their success, it's also true that their performances on the pitch have helped too.
It's all well and good having the money but you still have to perform on the pitch and the clubs like those mentioned above have done so. They may have spent heavily but they have still had to earn their success through their on field performances, so would it be right to restrict them?
We're never going to get a level playing field in this country. Even with the new home-grown players rule it's still apparent that the clubs with more money and better academies are going to have a distinct advantage.
So, perhaps it's time to accept the fact that our league is dominated by money and it's not going to change. However as long as we enjoy it, that's surely all that really matters.
Football fans, do you think there's too much money in football? Let us know in the comments box below.