Paul Pogba transfer fee epitomises problem with modern day football

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It is widely considered that letting Paul Pogba go was one of very few mistakes made by Sir Alex Ferguson during his time as Manchester United manager. But should United break the current world record transfer fee to bring him back?

United have been lacking in the heart of midfield for a long time now, the era of Paul Scholes and Roy Keane running games has long gone.

Pogba's athleticism would inject pace into the midfield, and help in improving recent one tempo football which fans have had to endure in recent years. He would also bring a threat of the unknown with his long range shooting, a threat that all but disappeared since Scholes retired.


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Although Pogba possesses undoubted class, the figures which are involved within this potential deal are astronomical.

It is reported the initial fee is £100 million, with United having to pay a further £20m plus for the player's agent Mino Raiola. The player is expected to come in as one of the top earners at the club, earning upward of £11m-a-year, potentially causing upset to other current first team players who will earn much less. 

When Alan Shearer moved to Newcastle United from Blackburn Rovers in 1996, this set a new transfer record of just £15m. It was two years later that Real Betis paid £21.5m for Denilson, making him the first player to command a fee of over £20m.

By the year 2000, the world record had gone up to £37 million, with Real Madrid signing Figo from arch rivals Barcelona. Since this point, Madrid have broken the record an additional four times, with the most recent being Gareth Bale for around £86 million in 2013.

If the transfer of Pogba is completed to United, the world record fee could increase by the cost of the Alan Shearer transfer back in 1996. This shows that within 20 years, the world record for a player transfer is almost seven times higher, and at what point is this going to be considered too much for a single player.

The positive which comes from the big teams paying these kind of sums for the elite players is that it allows smaller clubs to inflate the price of their star players.

Matt Richie recently swapped Bournemouth for Newcastle for an estimated £12m, these kind of fees are not really scrutinised these days and are more and more seen as run of the mill transfers.

With the price of transfers ever increasing, this allows selling clubs to stay competitive within the league even when they are forced to sell their stars. Southampton have been a great example of this over the last three seasons, with Liverpool's continued raiding of the club.

The negative of the transfer is the continued power which agents have in the game. It seems that player's agents can control the transfer situations the way that suits them best. They'll get the best deal for themselves and their client, without worrying about other parties involved.

Also, there is the unlikelihood of a Leicester City story repeating itself. It is well documented that the big teams in the league failed last season when the title was there for the taking, and in the end, Leicester more than deserved to be champions. However, with the financial fair play rules in the favour of the teams with the bigger incomes, then this will restrict the amount the smaller clubs could use to continually rebuild squads. 

Paul Pogba possess every quality to go on to be one of the best midfielders the Premier League has seen, but at what point does FIFA look at transfers and start to do something about the fees.

FIFA had the perfect opportunity to cap wages when the first £100,000-per-week contract in England was signed by Sol Campbell when he moved from Tottenham Hotspur to Arsenal, but this did not happen, and wages have continued to spiral out of control and we are seeing the same with transfer fees.

Unfortunately, football is becoming less and less of a working mans sport as someone has to pay for these transfers/wages, and the continued increase of ticket prices and merchandise seems to continue despite clubs agreeing to freeze ticket prices for a year due to the record TV deals being signed.

If the Pogba transfer is completed, the Frenchman would go on to be a success for United and the amount of merchandise sold off the back of the transfer would pay for a considerable chunk of the transfer.

However, this transfer will set a precedent for the cost of the signature of world stars, and will only inflate the price next time a move for one is considered.

As previously mentioned, the real problem lies with the fact that the actual fans who spend their hard earned wages on following their clubs will again be affected by the prices, and it is them that will be hit by the knock on affect.

Is money in football spiraling out of control? Leave us YOUR thoughts in the comment section below!

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Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Manchester United
Premier League
Ryan Giggs
Cristiano Ronaldo
David Beckham

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