Santi Cazorla became the latest Spaniard to make the move north and join the Premier League in England today.
Juan Mata was poised to join the Gunners last summer from Valencia, but Chelsea nipped in front of them to hijack the deal and another Spain midfielder, David Silva, has experienced immense success at Manchester City.
Manchester United also got in on the act a year ago by signing promising Spain Under-21 ‘keeper David de Gea and making him number one.
The mentioned transfers are proof that the success of the national team belies the deterioration that many La Liga clubs are beginning to experience.
Malaga did not want to sell their main playmaker, but financial restraints caused by confusion over the club’s ownership have meant they have been forced to sell off their best stars.
It’s no coincidence that all of the players mentioned were signed from clubs outside of Spain’s dominant top two, Barcelona and Real Madrid, clubs that are experiencing some incredible success.
Malaga finished fourth last season and qualified for the Champions League play-ff round, yet are suffering terribly from a lack of cash, with a number of players not being paid their salaries.
Cazorla is a terrific signing for Arsene Wenger, but it is disastrous for the league as a whole if the supposedly forth best team has to conduct a fire sale just before they have the possibility of reaching the Champions League group stages and the riches that await.
There can be no denial that Barcelona and Real Madrid utterly dominate the Primera Division, but this dominance has led to a huge discrepancy in the amount of television revenue that is shared around the league.
The Clasico pair currently take home about half of the €600million that is brought in through the sale of the rights and the smaller Spanish clubs are trying to negotiate a deal whereby the revenue is spread evenly around the clubs.
Barça and Real’s wage bill means they are unsurprisingly resisting the change, as it is this revenue that allows them to purchase and keep the world’s best players.
Much is said of Barcelona’s fruitful youth academy, La Masia, but it costs to be the best side in European football for a very long time and the Camp Nou club have the largest wage bill of any football side.
Valencia finished third last season despite having sold off many of their best stars in the past few years; David Villa, David Silva, Juan Mata to name a few.
This is a side that was winning the Spanish title not too long ago and was in two Champion League finals in a row, as well as winning the UEFA Cup.
They now struggle to keep hold of any of their best players for any length of time and rely on the wealth of talented youngsters coming through to maintain success.
However, Barcelona’s purchase of Jordi Alba this summer again demonstrated the ability for one of the top two to cherry-pick the best from those below.
Other European leagues, such as the Premier League, are benefitting greatly from the huge supply of youthful talent that is produced by the World and European champions – mostly because there isn’t enough space for them all at Camp Nou and Santiago Bernabeu.
Watching the two giants of Spanish football play is highly enjoyable, yet such brilliance comes at a price.
Real Zaragoza, Real Betis and Racing Santander have all fallen into administration in the recent past, while Villareal – who were Champions League regulars not that long ago – have suffered relegation and are facing a fight to avoid a similar fate to those previously mentioned.
Barcelona in the last few years have been hailed as the greatest team of all time, but there may be no league for them to play in if the current financial continues.
La Liga is crumbling under the weight of the behemoths at its summit.
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